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

Three new buses on the way for Fraser-Cascade School District

A change to funding from the ministry will allow the district to purchase three replacement buses

Kent honours late CAO with tree planting

Tony Lewis passed away in 2007, seven months before his retirement from the position

Judge questions joint submission for Chilliwack man who sexually assaulted girl

Crown, defence ordered to find case law to back up one-year sentencing for Andrew Mullaly

School trip tragedy leaves Hope mourning the loss of one of their own

Long-time resident, Sandra Loring, passed away while chaperoning a European school trip

Fraser Health reminds parents to get their kids fully vaccinated against measles

Health authority will send letters home to parents with catch-up program information

Harrison Mills band holding contest to decide name

The local cover band will be announcing the winner at a concert on May 3

Two in critical condition, several still in hospital after Langley deck collapse

Close relative Satwant Garcha makes daily trips to visit those injured at the wedding

Allegedly intoxicated man arrested after 3 paramedics attacked at Kamloops hospital

Paramedics had transported the man to Royal Inlands Hospital for medical treatment

Canadian privacy watchdogs find major shortcomings in Facebook probe

The probe followed reports that Facebook had let an outside organization use an app to access users’ personal info

Busy day for passengers on BC Ferries

First two sailings from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay full Thursday morning

B.C., Ottawa talk 50/50 split on abandoned bus-route service

B.C. has paid $2 million on a bus service for the northern part of the province

VIDEO: Vanouver Giants come back to earn 4-3 overtime victory

Playing in Spokane for the second consecutive night, the G-Men triumph put them 3-1 in the playoffs

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

Most Read