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Town choir ready to sing

November 6, 2010
Kylie Saari — Staff Writer

FAIRMONT - Last fall, Doris Mancell had a vision of resurrecting a community choir to help celebrate the holiday season. Estimates pegged the last community choir to the 1980s, and Mancell wanted to find out if there was still an interest.

The public responded, and it's time once again for the musically inclined to start singing their scales.

Mancell is looking for volunteers to be part of a Christmas concert at Red Rock Center for the Arts at 5 p.m. Dec. 6.

She said the success the group saw in the venture last year was both in the choir and the audience. The buzz around town after the first performance led to another being scheduled, which also enjoyed full attendance.

"It was great," she said. "We had 65 voices and ended up having two concerts. ... It was magical music, a magical night."

The only requirement to being part of the choir is attendance at the practices and a desire to sing - there are no auditions.

"It is for anyone who wants to come usher in the Christmas season," Mancell said.

The group was formed last year after Mancell and her husband, who had participated in the Many Voices Choir out of Estherville, Iowa, wanted something similar closer to home.

"We have a lot of people in Fairmont who love to sing," she said, noting not everyone wants to drive to Estherville or Mankato in the winter to take part in their area choirs.

The choir will be directed by Judy Berkeland, who says a benefit of the group is the limited commitment required to join.

"Many times people do not have time to join a group, but love to sing," she said.

Songs slated for the concert are a mix of contemporary and traditional Christmas songs, and include some audience participation.

Practices will be held 6:30 p.m. Nov. 14, 21 and 28 at the Five Lake Elementary choir room.



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