Mid Columbia Community Choir returns

The Mid-Columbia Community Choir is up and running again after taking a year’s hiatus.

New director Perry Cole will begin rehearsals Sept. 25 and is seeking new members.

Rehearsals will be held weekly during the fall, with the Christmas concert held at Hood River Valley Christian Church on Dec. 11, and at Henkle Middle School in White Salmon on Dec. 14.

Along with looking for new members, Cole has rounded up many former members of the choir.

“I’ve really been pleased with the response,” Cole said. “Everyone has really been excited about doing this again.” No rehearsals or performances were held last year, after former director Bob Van Alstine retired in 2001. Cole took over as director earlier this year and has “been busy pulling this thing together,” he said.

Cole, who moved to the Gorge in 2000, is a church musician for Bethel Congregational Church in White Salmon, and has played for Tucker Road Baptist Church and Hood River Valley Christian Church in Hood River.

“I have ties to both sides of the river,” he said. He has an extensive background playing in choirs and churches, including touring with several choirs and volunteering as a singing evangelist for five years. Cole grew up in Walla Walla, Wash.

Cole hopes to have about 80 voices in the choir. Members come from all around the Mid-Columbia and the Hood River Valley. This year’s cantata is “How Great Our Joy,” and offers many sing-along opportunities for the audience, according to Cole.

“I feel like it’s going to be extra special this year because of the audience participation,” he said.

The Mid-Columbia Community Choir begins rehearsals Sept. 25 at Bethel Congregational Church.

For information, contact Perry Cole at 354-1129 or by e-mail at pcc@gorge.net

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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