2016-12-01 / Life in Leelanau

Musicians share holiday spirit

By Patti Brandt Burgess
Of The Enterprise staff


THE YOUNGEST members of the children’s choir at Northport Covenant Church entertain the crowd at last year’s Christmas Celebration. This year about a dozen children make up the Sunbeams, the Glory Gang and the Songbirds who will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, at the church. THE YOUNGEST members of the children’s choir at Northport Covenant Church entertain the crowd at last year’s Christmas Celebration. This year about a dozen children make up the Sunbeams, the Glory Gang and the Songbirds who will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, at the church. What is more Christmas-y than a church service that tells the story of Jesus’ birth?

Nothing, says Bobbie Lange, music director at Northport Covenant Church.

And when you add in several toddlers who may sing or may just stand on stage looking very cute, you might just have the perfect service.

Northport Covenant will hold its annual Christmas Celebration at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, at the church, located at 409 S. Shabwasung St.

This year’s theme, “The Characters of Christmas,” focuses on the people and angels involved in the first Christmas through music, scripture and drama.

An adult choir features 13 members, a folk band features four musicians, and more than a dozen children ranging from toddlers to junior high students will sing in three children’s choirs — the Sunbeams, the Glory Gang and the Songbirds.

“It’s a heart-warming event,” said Lange, who is the wife of church Pastor Jerry Lange. “It just speaks the truth of this time of year and why we celebrate. You just can’t beat children and Christmas and music.”

This is the Langes’ seventh Christmas at the church, with the Christmas Celebration being held every year since their arrival.

“We’re excited and happy to all come together,” Lange said.

All are welcome to attend the celebration, which will be followed by fellowship and refreshments.

The Northport Covenant event is actually the last in a series of musical concerts taking place across the county, starting Friday with the Madrigal Concert in Leland.

Here’s a lineup of local concerts that celebrate the holiday season:

Friday, Saturday and Sunday:

• The 24th annual Madrigal Concert, performed by the Leelanau Children’s Choir and Leelanau Youth Ensemble, will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Leland Community United Methodist Church.

The choirs were founded in 1992 and have always been under the direction of Margaret Bell.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students and are available by calling 883-7464. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

 The Leelanau Community Choir Christmas Concert Series takes place at 7:30 Saturday at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Leland; at 3 p.m. Sunday at Suttons Bay Congregational Church and at 7 p.m. Sunday at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Glen Arbor.

This year’s theme is “It’s Hard to Believe,” with a variety of Christmas songs and carols old and new.

The choir is under the direction of Jonah Powell, who is also the music director at Suttons Bay Congregational.

Admission to the concerts is free, though donations are welcome and appreciated. For more information call 271-6091.

Friday, Dec. 9

 The Manitou Music Festival presents the Manitou Winds Holiday Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 9, at the Leelanau School in Glen Arbor.

The Winter Songs & Carols performance includes songs of Advent, the winter solstice and Christmas, as well as poetry and prose, all of which will combine to get people in the mood for the holiday season.

Five musicians playing nine instruments will be joined by two guest vocalists, Christy Burich and Emily Curtain Culler.

The festival is sponsored by the Glen Arbor Art Association. Admission is free.

Sunday, Dec. 11

 The Village Voices and the Northport Community Band will hold their annual Christmas Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11 at the Northport Community Arts Center.

The concert features seasonal classics and ends with a sing-along guaranteed to get everyone into the Christmas spirit. A cookie ‘afterglow’ is held after the concert in the NCAC lobby.

The band is under the direction of Don Wilcox and the choir is under the direction of Carol Bachmeyer.

Lisa Drummond, operations manager of the NCAC, said the concert has been held every year since the inception of the Arts Center in 2001.

The concert is well attended by people from all over the county, Drummond said.

“People like to hang around after the concert and talk to each other,” she said. “It’s just nice.”

Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students, with Northport students getting in free.

Sunday, Dec. 18

 The Christmas Celebration will be held at 4 p.m. at Northport Covenant Church.

Return to top