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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