Community Chorus draws crowds despite weather

Taylor Pardue Staff Reporter

December 11, 2013

The Community Chorus performed its 53rd annual Christmas program Sunday.

Two presentations were given at the First United Methodist Church in Elkin, one at 4 p.m. and the other at 7 p.m.

Chorus members from 31 area churches — some as far away as Winston-Salem and Charlotte — performed Christian Christmas songs in what has become an annual tradition in the Elkin/Jonesville area.

In total, there were 90 chorus members that performed Sunday: 26 sopranos, 26 altos, 15 tenors and 23 bass singers.

“I thought it went very well. We had two performances that went exceptional,” said Terry Darnell, the Elkin Community Chorus board preisdent. “The weather had us a bit concerned. We were worried that we would have had to cancel, but we didn’t and it was well received.”

According to Darnell, one of their largest expenses is the cost for the music. The chorus has a music library, but they try to have new pieces each year.

“We have five new pieces this year. The new music ran over $1,000. The total expenses come over $3,500,” he said.

The songs included many seasonal favorites, like “O Come, All Ye Faithful” and “The Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy.” Mixed in with the set were hymns to which the choir invited the audience to sing along.

The choir began in 1961 with members of First Baptist Church in Elkin and First United Methodist Church of Elkin. The two churches came together to present a larger, more challenging Christmas program for the two choirs.

While the chorus has grown to include other churches, the location of the yearly performance remains in the two churches.

Each church hosts the performance every other year.

In 1963 and 1964, the performance was given in Elkin High School’s Dixon Auditorium, but after two years and a smaller-than-usual crowd, the chorus moved back to the churches, where it has remained ever since.

The chorus drew a nearly full house Sunday despite, or because of, the weather.

While the annual Christmas parade made its way through the cold streets of Jonesville and Elkin at 3 p.m., the audience at United Methodist was staying warm and dry inside the church.

The performance drew the attention of UNC-Chapel Hill’s UNC-TV, which sent a video crew to highlight the event.

Plans already are under way and performers are looking forward to singing in the 54th annual chorus at First Baptist in Jonesville.

“As far as the committe goes, we dedicate several hours. As a matter of fact the new committe with start with a transitional meeting early next year. We have about five or six meetings a year,” said Darnell.

Darnell indicated that Walt Pettit will become the chorus president beginning next year.

Private donations are accepted and may be sent to the Community Chrous of Elkin at 223 Knollwood Drive, Elkin.

Reach Taylor Pardue at 835-1513 or at tpardue@civitasmedia.com. Anthony Gonzalez contributed to this story.