Community choir performs in three concerts

Mid-Columbia Community Choir will offer three concerts this holiday season.

This local volunteer group of choral musicians kicks off the holiday concert series at 7 p.m. on Nov. 17 at Riverside Community Church, Fourth and State streets, Hood River. Benefit Christmas concerts are also planned for Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. at Riverside Community Church and Dec. 2 at 4 p.m. at Grace Baptist Church in White Salmon, Wash.

The concert, entitled “Hymns of Thanksgiving,” is a benefit concert for Give Them Wings Inc., a local nonprofit two-phase program that provides housing, work, education and wrap-around services for young men who are currently homeless and in need of support. They provide these services to young men between the ages of 18 and 23, who are from, or have ties to, the Columbia Gorge area.

Volunteer choir members have come from the communities up and down the Mid-Columbia region and have performed benefit concerts since 1989 when Bob Van Alstine of White Salmon, Washington formed the group. Van Alstine retired in 2001 and Perry Cole became the choral director in 2003.

The Mid-Columbia Community Choir will be joined by the Riverside Community Church Chancel Choir, and several instrumentalists from the Gorge will join the choirs during the program, including Dawn Rankin (flute) and Susan Tickner (pianist/organist) on “Homeward Bound,” an original arrangement by Mack Wilberg, music director for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Perry Cole, director of both groups, will lead the choir and congregation in hymns and anthems celebrating the harvest. Cole will be joined by Diana Beterbide, pianist for both groups.

The group will be performing “The Night Before Christmas,” arranged by Joel Lindsey and Twila LaBar, who bring the Christmas story to life through this stirring new musical.

Dynamically arranged by Dove-Award winning producer, J. Daniel Smith, this compelling re-telling of the events leading up to Christ’s coming combines a carefully crafted choir arrangement and simple narration for an inspiring Christmas musical presentation of hope.

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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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