It’s Christmastime again and that means it’s also time to sing.
Central Alberta Home-School Choir, joined by Rosedale Valley Strings with Debbie Zepick at the helm is holding a series of benefit concerts from Dec. 13-15.
See Amid the Winter’s Snow is a concert to raise funds for the Christian Life Orphanage in Mwanza, Tanzania playing in Red Deer, Stettler and Camrose.
Carol singing has long been a Christmas tradition.
Lyndall Cave, who has been a member of the choir since its beginning in 2007, said that doing such a concert at Christmastime just makes sense.
“To me, Christmas and singing just go together.”
Cave said the concerts have always been done over a number of nights in different localities. What has changed is the number of participants.
The first year the choir held a Christmas concert there were between 30 and 60 singers. This year, there are 130, said Cave.
She added there are so many young singers in this year’s concert that there is also a junior choir.
Cave said the choir started from a core group of singers and then grew to include their siblings and friends. Zepick is also to credit for this growth, added Cave.
“Mrs. Zepick makes choir a lot of fun,” said Cave.
There are actually two separate groups that make up the choir, said Cave. She explained that one group practices in Lacombe and the other in Camrose. Before starting the concerts on the weekend, both groups are brought together the Thursday before the concerts begin for “One crazy rehearsal,” said Cave.
Part of what makes doing the concert such a memorable experience is the size of the choir, said Cave. She added that it is also part of what makes the music sound so good.
“I love singing,” said Cave. “Singing with that many people is a great experience. You just don’t get the same kind of feeling or full sound from a smaller ensemble.”
See Amid the Winter’s Snow includes a number of different Christmas carols.
Cave said a lot of it is contemporary music and a fair number of songs with segments of traditional carols. She added there are also a few African-inspired songs, some gospel and even a few originals written by Zepick.
“Mrs. Zepick always picks really neat stuff to sing,” said Cave.
She added that there are a few instrumental pieces performed by the orchestra alone as well.
Central Alberta Home-School Choir has been doing benefits for the Christian Life Orphanage since 2009 when they one of the orchestra’s members came in contact with the orphanage, at the time just run by one couple who lived in a separate house.
Now, through these benefits concerts and Zap! Theatre, which Zepick co-directs, they have helped build a proper dormitory for the orphans. Future plans include building a separate kitchen building and bringing solar power to the orphanage, said Cave.
Central Alberta Home-School Choir will perform See Amid the Winter’s Snow at Calvary Pentecostal Church in Camrose starting at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 13, New Life Christian Reformed Church in Red Deer starting at 7 p.m. on Dec. 14 and Stettler Performing Arts Centre in Stettler starting at 3:30 p.m.
A free-will offering will be taken with funds to benefit the Christian Life Orphanage in Mwanza, Tanzania.