Mondays and Wednesdays at the Clock Tower are brimming with merry songs as the Westben Festival, Youth, Teen and B Natural choruses prepare for the November 28 and 29 performances at The Barn. These Christmas-time concerts at Westben have become a tradition for many families to get into the seasonal mood but if you have never been, then let me give you a snapshot. After you park your car at Westben, perhaps a light dusting of snow on the ground will set the mood as you make your way down the path, past the red lanterns, to the cozy Barn. Dress warmly with a coat, boots, hat and mittens and bring a blanket as The Barn is not heated. There will be Santa hats everywhere as the volunteers welcome you inside to the glowing Barn decorated with boughs of cedar and ribbon. A free cup of hot cider and homemade cookies will warm you up as you make your way to your reserved seat in one of the movie theatre-style cushion seats. The applause to welcome the 75 performers on stage is often comically muted because everyone has their hands covered. I love the cross generational nature of these concerts with performers ranging in ages from 7 to 80. Stratford actors Chick Reid and Frank Moore will be narrating short stories in between the songs performed by the four choirs (and I have a couple of solos). The music is of course is seasonal including I Saw Three Ships, O Holy Night, Ave Maria, Here We Come Wassailing, Magnificat by John Rutter and several others. The performance is 90 minutes with no intermission, which means on Saturday, November 28, you will have time to go to the concert at 1 pm and still be able to see the Santa Claus parade in Campbellford starting at 3:00 pm. Sunday, November 29 the performance at The Barn starts at 3 pm. Saturday, December 5 Songs of Merry travels to Norwood United Church and on Sunday to Belleville at Bridge Street United Church, both starting at 3 pm. Tickets may be reserved by calling Westben at 705-653-5508 or www.westben.ca. But first join us Saturday, November 7 at 7 pm at the Clock Tower for a House Concert! Christian Hodge, now 17 will be performing with friends in the band called Northern Sound. Northern Sound is an indie band that fuses folk, pop, and rock to introduce a truly happy sound. Hailing from Northumberland County, this young quartet draws influences from the current pop scene as well as early folk music. Acoustic instruments blend with electric, and meld together with a wide array of percussion to create a unique experience. This is a pay-what-you-can event so join us this Saturday at the Clock, 36 Front Street South in Campbellford at 7 pm. If you arrive early at 9 am you can join in the Westben Wind Ensemble and yes we have instruments for you! For more information on the instrumental programs, the House Concert or Songs of Merry, call me at the Westben Box Office 705-653-5508.
written for the Community Press