New choir gets rave reviews for its free Christmas performance

BY SHARRON HALEY
Special to The Sumter Item
Posted 12/8/17

MANNING - The newly established East Clarendon Community Choir received rave reviews for debut performances of "Christmas Makes Everything New" on Dec. 2 and 3 at Weldon Auditorium.Comprised of 87 choir members from nine …

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New choir gets rave reviews for its free Christmas performance

Posted

MANNING - The newly established East Clarendon Community Choir received rave reviews for debut performances of "Christmas Makes Everything New" on Dec. 2 and 3 at Weldon Auditorium.

Comprised of 87 choir members from nine churches in the Turbeville area, including First Baptist, Horse Branch Free Will Baptist, Maranatha Pentecostal Holiness, Midway Presbyterian, New Zion United Methodist, Pine Grove United Methodist, Pleasant Grove Baptist in Lynchburg, Sardinia Presbyterian and Turbeville Southern Methodist, the choir was conducted by Brian Sargent, pastor of Horse Branch. Live music was presented by Pete Bradham and Will Sargent on acoustic guitar, Robert Gibbs on electric guitar, Winston Jewell on bass, Maysey Floyd on drums and Prentice Tyndall on piano.

"I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the choir," said Harriette Cannon of Turbeville. "It was the first time I had been back on stage since I was in high school in 1967."

Cannon said that all the songs had special meanings to her, but a couple of the songs were "very heart changing."

"A few of the songs caused me to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas," she added. "Sometimes there is too much commercialization around Christmas, and it pushed Jesus out. These songs brought back the true meaning of Christmas."

Sargent said recently that the choir began practicing in September.

"Some of these folks were a little nervous because they'd never performed anywhere but at their churches," he added. "Some came from small churches where they didn't perform with a live music."

After the weekend's performances, Sargent said the choir was ready to fill the stage again.

"I asked them if they'd like to do this again," Sargent added. "Some of them were eager for Easter, but that's a little too soon to get an event together."

The two performances were free thanks to the generosity of the churches, businesses and individuals who contributed to make the event possible, he said.

"This effort would not have been possible without the support of so many from our community," Sargent said. "Thanks."