Calvary United Church hosts Prince Albert Children’s Choir for ‘An Afternoon of Music’

Members of the Prince Albert Children’s Choir practice at Ecole St. Anne School. The group will perform at Calvary United Church on Sunday. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

Calvary United Church and the Prince Albert Children’s Choir hope to bring the community together with a special performance on Sunday.

The two groups partnered together for ‘An Afternoon of Music and Fellowship’ at the church. The Calvary Gospel Band and Calvary Folks will also perform, and the Calvary Gathering Choir will lead the audience in a Christmas Carol sing-a-long.

Calvary United’s Rev. Nora Vedress said they used to host similar concerts on a regular basis, but that stopped years ago. When COVID hit, she said it reinforced the importance of gathering together as a community, and created the inspiration for Sunday’s performance.

“We think that coming together with music is one of the best ways we can build that community,” Vedress explained. “We really just wanted to do something that was light-hearted and fun and enjoyable (with) not a lot of pressure or expectation. (It’s) just a time to come together and sing and enjoy being together.”

Vedress said it was important to involve the community in Sunday’s performance, which is why they invited the Prince Albert Children’s Choir to perform. A few Calvary Church youth sing in the choir, and church member Bob Hayes is one of the back-up musicians.

She said Hayes spearheaded efforts to get the Children’s Choir involved, and Calvary is happy to host them.

“We just have so much respect for and appreciation for what they do and the gift of music they give to the kids,” Vedress said.

“We wanted to do something that would benefit the community as well as the church, and just spread that around a little bit. The children’s choir just seemed like a perfect fit.”

Children’s Choir artistic director Megan Fournier-Mewis said they’ve been working on Christmas and winter-themed material since September. This list of songs includes traditional carols, along with some more recent hits, like songs from Disney’s Frozen.

“They kind of turned their noses up when I introduced them to Christmas music in September, but they’ve been working on it for a while and so they’re excited to put it in front of people, for sure,” Fournier-Mewis said with a chuckle.

“There’s something—that old Christmas pageant type feeling that you used to have—when you hear kids singing,” she added. “When the community comes together and does a concert … it brings that all together and it brings out that Christmas spirit.”

Fournier-Mewis said adding the concert to their schedule adds some excitement to their regular practices, since the singers know they have something to work towards. She said they’re also happy for the chance to partner with Calvary United.

“I’ve always said that choirs are the definition of diversity becoming united. You take different voices and you make them united, so it’s really a good match with the Calvary United Church and how they look at diversity,” she said.

‘An Afternoon of Music and Fellowship’ begins at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3. The concert is open to the community. Admission is by freewill donation. Half the proceeds will go towards the Children’s Choir, with the other half going to Calvary United.