Walker County Christian Chorus rehearsing for annual event
by Chris Yow
Nov 24, 2010 | 1605 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Members of The Walker County Christian Chorus practice Tuesday for a performance of George Frederic Handel’s “The Messiah,” which will be performed Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. at Jasper’s First Baptist Church. Photo by: David Lazenby
Members of The Walker County Christian Chorus practice Tuesday for a performance of George Frederic Handel’s “The Messiah,” which will be performed Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. at Jasper’s First Baptist Church. Photo by: David Lazenby
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Traditions are as much of a part of Christmas as parades and Santa Claus. The Walker County Christian Chorus will continue a local tradition its annual performance of George Frederic Handel’s “The Messiah,” Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. at Jasper First Baptist Church.

The 28th annual performance will be conducted by Dr. John Stallsmith, choir director at First United Methodist Church in Jasper.

“This has been a Christmas tradition in Jasper since well before I came here,” he said.

When Stallsmith first performed in the event, he was only a member of the choir, now as conductor in his third year, he said he is happy to be in the position.

“It’s great to work with all these wonderful people,” he said.

First-year choir member Terrie Beaver said she was having a blast learning the piece.

“It’s awesome. I love how it is arranged. I’ve never sang classical music before,” she said.

While for first-year members, the music is challenging, for 12th-year veteran Damon McAllister, the goal is the same and the experience does not change.

“This is a wonderful experience, every rehearsal and the performance. We are here to praise God,” he said.

The choir will be accompanied by members of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and the two groups provide a sound like none other.

“It’s not all the time you are able to hear a well-trained choir with an orchestra in Jasper,” said Stallsmith.

Choir member Sharon Bowie agreed. “We love having the orchestra and singers together. It’s what we work so hard for. This is a difficult piece to learn.

Bowie mentioned she loved performing in the choir because of how many people look forward to it every year. “This is the beginning of Christmas for a lot of people I know. They start their holiday season with this event,” she said.

Stallsmith said the show will be something worth the time of those who come.

“This is free to anyone. It’s an opportunity to listen to a well-trained choir performing a masterpiece. No matter the cultural or religious views, this is a wonderful evening,” he said.