Ryan Morrill recognized that many singers and musicians wanted to participate in a quality, choral concert.
In response, and with the help of Nanci Flesher and Don McGuire, the Moab Community Christmas Choir was created.
They will perform a Christmas concert 7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 16 at the Moab Community Church.
The 48 members of the choir are from a variety of churches in town, including the Moab Community Church, the Seventh Day Adventist Church, St. Francis Episcopal Church, St. Pius X Roman Catholic Parish and all five wards of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“I think we’ve all enjoyed real fellowship among all members and denominations,” Flesher said. “From the start, there has developed a very easy, giving, fun atmosphere.”
Some of the selections include “Ding, Dong Merrily On High”, “I Wonder as I Wander”, “Still, Still, Still”and “Carol of the Bells”. The audience will be encouraged to sing four carols at the end of the program.
“The music performed for this concert will be of mostly sacred nature,” Flesher said.
Morrill is the former band director for the Grand County School District, and is now the vocal music teacher at Helen M. Knight Elementary. Flesher is the teacher for the BEACON Moab Strings Program and was the director of music for a large Catholic parish in Colorado Springs, Colo. The two recently worked together to produce Grandma’s Old Fashioned Thanksgiving at the elementary school. McGuire is the new band director for the Grand County School District.
“We are able to share music with adults, and do the fun things we were trained to do,” Flesher said. “It is pretty unusual that this choir is being directed by the three experienced public school music teachers teaching in the Grand County School District.”
The 48 adult choristers have been able to learn how to use proper vowels, diction, breathing, phrasing and blending during the practices held each Sunday afternoon at the Moab Community Church.
“This has been a very rewarding experience for all of us. Ryan, Don and I have received so many wonderful comments from the choristers,” Flesher said. “They are so thankful for the experience. Singers have been stopping me, at school and in the grocery store, and telling me how they are enjoying themselves and are really learning a lot.”
The Brass Ensemble will play carols from the balcony prior to the beginning of the concert.
The concert will include traditional English, French, German, Austrian carols, and, also carols from Appalachia, West Africa (Cameroon) and West Indies. The final portion of the concert will include audience participation in caroling with the choir and instrumentalists.
“We all laugh and hug a lot. And, we sound pretty darned wonderful. As Christians, and especially as musicians, we all realize that we have so much in common, despite our affiliations,” Flesher said. “It has simply been an absolute blessing to be part of this.”
Following the concert, there will be a holiday reception in the Fellowship Hall.
The concert is free and open to the public, with a free-will offering of non-perishable foods and personal hygiene items to be donated to the Moab Food Pantry.