Second show added for Christmas musical

Response has been so strong that not all could be fit in

Andrew Twiddy

A highly anticipated Christmas musical program is completely sold out on December 20, but an additional show has been added so more people can enjoy the Christmas Cantata at St. Anne and St. Edmund Church in Parksville.

Produced by Ron Klusmeier, Hold The Child Gently will feature choir singers from 13 different churches. Reverend Andrew Twiddy said there are 70 people in the ecumenical choir; all from different denominations. He said they have already done one presentation at Trinity United Church in Nanaimo and it was a huge success. He said original plans were to have a dress rehearsal on Dec. 19 at St. Anne and St. Edmund churches in Parksville, but they have decided to invite the public for an open rehearsal because the Dec. 20 performance sold out so quickly.

The Monday night performance is at 7 p.m. and entrance is first come first serve, with no pre-sale tickets. Entrance is by a $5 donation at the door.

Klusmeier, an accomplished composer, wrote the music for the Christmas Cantata with Walter Farquharson and it combines the musical resources of St. Anne and St. Edmund with other churches.

Klusmeier wanted a collaborative project that included other churches in the area and he hopes it will renew spirituality in the community.

Klusmeier said he is thrilled with their Christmas production and although there are almost 70 people in the choir the weekly rehearsals went smoothly.

“I love pulling people together from all different churches.  We will be doing more of it in the future.”

Of course fitting a huge choir into the church has its challenges but Klusmeier said it can be done.

“We are doing what I call chainsaw ministries … removing some of the pews to make room. It will be cosy but it will work,” he admitted.

Klusmeier made an attempt at retirement two years ago after 13 years with the Music Ministry at Knox United Church in Parksville and more than 50 years as a church musician.  Twiddy convinced him there was an opportunity to do something new in the community — and a musical partnership was formed that has Klusmeier bringing his musical expertise to St. Anne and St. Edmund.

Klusmeier admitted he is glad he put his retirement plans on hold because he loves making music.

Sunday at Three, which is an informal ecumenical gathering led by Klusmeier and some of his musical friends is on a Christmas break but will start up in January.

It features music composed by Klusmeier with words by his writing partners from around the globe including Walter Farquharson, Fred Kaan, Shirley Erena Murray, John Oldham, Ruth Duck and Brian Wren.


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