The Agassiz United Church is full with the voices of the mass choir as they practice the African Alleluia in preparation for the 50th annual Community Carol Festival on Dec. 14. Nina Grossman/The Observer

Fifty years of Agassiz carols

Church choirs, school choirs and community members to sing at 50th Carol Festival

This December marks the 50th year that choirs, community members and musicians from Agassiz and Harrison have come together to tell the Christmas story. Hosted by the Agassiz Harrison Ministerial Association, the 50th annual Community Carol Festival unites over 100 voices to celebrate the story behind the Christmas season.

This year, recently retired Agassiz Christian School principal John Zuidhof will conduct the approximately 50-person mass choir.

“I’ve always been involved in school and music and community,” he says. “I think just the fact that there’s a great cross-section of people from various churches, from the community, and they all come together for this express purpose. I think it’s a wonderful time to be able to come together for that.”

Some of the mass choir’s scheduled songs include the African Alleluia and the Canadian Huron Carol, to honour the country’s 150th birthday. School choirs and the Agassiz Elementary Secondary School’s band will also join in on the festivities.

“The one we do with the children’s choir is called Peace on Earth,” Zuidhof says. “It’s really neat to have that combination of the adult choir plus this year [the] two children’s school choirs.”

“That’s always a highlight of the program,” he adds.

The final performance is always Silent Night, and as per tradition, the audience is encouraged to join the choirs in singing the well-loved carol.

Organizer Brian Harding has been involved with the Carol Festival for about 35 years. He says initially it was held in local churches until it became too big and had to be moved to the Agricultural Hall.

“We still draw heavily on the churches in town for singers but it’s expanded beyond churches so the community members also join in to sing the carols,” he says, adding that in past years Sts’ailes and Seabird Island schools participated as well.

“It’s magical,” he says. “There aren’t too many events in this town that go 50 years in a row.”

The event has a Christian emphasis, Harding adds, but is enjoyable for everybody. “They are Christmas carols and we aim at the nativity story,” he says. “But it’s not overbearing if not a person of faith.”

The Community Choir Festival is open to the public and will be held Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Agricultural Hall in Agassiz. Donations for the Agassiz Harrison Community Services’ food bank will be accepted at the event.

[gps-image name=”9606184_web1_171204-AHO-M-Agassiz-Carol-Festival.jpg”]

 

The bass and baritone singers practice their part for the 50th Carol Festival at Agassiz’s Agricultural Hall. The mass choir is composed of church choirs and community members from Agassiz and Harrison. Nina Grossman/The Observer

Just Posted

Chilliwack’s Chief Ernie Crey a firm pipeline supporter

Crey lauds NEB focus on marine safety in his role representing Indigenous oversight committee

Measles case confirmed within Fraser Health region

One case within Fraser Health is related to the outbreak in three Vancouver schools.

Harrison Festival to share the culture behind the music

Festival director Andy Hillhouse will be talking about nationalism in music, starting March 1

Risk of ‘deadly avalanches’ leads to warning for B.C.’s south coast

Weak layer of snow on Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland could trigger an avalanche

Another snowfall warning for Lower Mainland

Another 5-10 cm expected for Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Sunshine Coast

VIDEO: Wheelchairs teach Agassiz students acceptance through sport

Teacher Donna Gallamore brought wheelchairs to the Kent Elementary for learning and fun

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Cryptocurrency exchange CEO who suddenly died leaves Kelowna house in will

Gerald Cotten, holding the keys to money tied up in his virtual currency exchange, died in December.

Most Read