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Christmas is in the air, and there is an abundance of wonderful musical programs and performances to warm our hearts for the season.

The Festival of Lights Parade will be at 6 p.m. today, followed by the Christmas Musical Fireworks, which will be choreographed to your favorite Christmas music, and then the lighting of the City Hall Christmas tree. Tune to QMIX 107.3 and see the best viewing at Second and Washington streets. Pictures with Santa will be available after the show.

On Sunday, we will be treated to the Columbus Symphony Orchestra’s “Winter’s Passion” with Kathy Dell’s Parkside Choir at The Commons auditorium at 3:30 p.m. Music performed will include Vivaldi, “The Four Seasons”; Anderson, “Sleigh Ride”; Tchaikovsky’s “Winter Dreams”; Rimsky-Korsakov, “The Snow Maiden”; and Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus,” all conducted masterfully by Roger Kalia.

The following week will be very busy, with the Columbus City Band performing a Christmas program conducted by Stephen E. McGrew at 2 p.m. Dec. 9 at The Commons. This outstanding, all-volunteer band officially was chartered in 1843 and is the oldest community band in Indiana.

Also on Dec. 9 will be “Home for the Holidays,” the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s holiday concert. It will be at 3 and 7 p.m. at Columbus North, and the philharmonic will be joined by the Philharmonic Chorus and the Philharmonic’s Columbus Indiana Children’s Choir, with David Bowden conducting this magical Christmas program.

Coming up at 7 p.m. Dec. 22 will be the St. Bartholomew Choir and Fairlawn Presbyterian Chancel Choir program, “Let There Be Light,” at St. Bartholomew Church, with Bogdan & Mirabella Minute, music directors. Included will be Joseph Martin’s “Ceremony of Candles,” a cantata for Advent and Christmas.

We went to the Palladium in Carmel to hear the wonderful choral groups from Guerin Catholic High School and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Choir. Also performing were many volunteers from both schools as well as from St. Elizabeth Seton Church and the St. Augustine Home. The play presented was “A Celebration of St. Jeanne Jugan” accompanied by the massive choir dressed in appropriate robes from each school with glorious young and exceptional voices. The play related the story of the foundress of The Little Sisters of the Poor in 1873, and the present day St. Augustine Home, which has cared for thousands of elderly persons regardless of religion or ethnic origin.

My granddaughter, Grace Poynter, sings in the Guerin choir directed by Mark Duray. The Mount Carmel musical director is Rex Benjamin Rund. Many individuals gave their time and talent in producing this very moving presentation about an individual who worked tirelessly in helping the poor and elderly.

Dan McKinley’s recent brilliant performance with the Columbus Philharmonic at the First Christian Church was attended by three very excited young ladies from Borden, Dan’s hometown. They are members of the Farabee family and are nieces of Mimi and Jim Riffle. Sharon was one year ahead of Dan, Kathy one class behind and Becky three years later was a classmate of his brother, Mark. The girls all had Dan’s mother as their fifth-grade (and favorite) teacher and his dad as their principal and teacher. They just love the whole McKinley family and had a delightful reunion at the concert. Dan’s music was deeply moving for them, hearing him play organ for the first time. With Kathy in the high school band, Dan played tuba and also piano in his youth.

David Bowden’s “Bring It Home” theme had everyone glowing with happiness.

Nancy Fritsch and Barbara Fortner can be reached at nancypencefritsch@att.net.Christmas is in the air, and there is an abundance of wonderful musical programs and performances to warm our hearts for the season.

The Festival of Lights Parade will be at 6 p.m. today, followed by the Christmas Musical Fireworks, which will be choreographed to your favorite Christmas music, and then the lighting of the City Hall Christmas tree. Tune to QMIX 107.3 and see the best viewing at Second and Washington streets. Pictures with Santa will be available after the show.

On Sunday, we will be treated to the Columbus Symphony Orchestra’s “Winter’s Passion” with Kathy Dell’s Parkside Choir at The Commons auditorium at 3:30 p.m. Music performed will include Vivaldi, “The Four Seasons”; Anderson, “Sleigh Ride”; Tchaikovsky’s “Winter Dreams”; Rimsky-Korsakov, “The Snow Maiden”; and Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus,” all conducted masterfully by Roger Kalia.

The following week will be very busy, with the Columbus City Band performing a Christmas program conducted by Stephen E. McGrew at 2 p.m. Dec. 9 at The Commons. This outstanding, all-volunteer band officially was chartered in 1843 and is the oldest community band in Indiana.

Also on Dec. 9 will be “Home for the Holidays,” the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s holiday concert. It will be at 3 and 7 p.m. at Columbus North, and the philharmonic will be joined by the Philharmonic Chorus and the Philharmonic’s Columbus Indiana Children’s Choir, with David Bowden conducting this magical Christmas program.

Coming up at 7 p.m. Dec. 22 will be the St. Bartholomew Choir and Fairlawn Presbyterian Chancel Choir program, “Let There Be Light,” at St. Bartholomew Church, with Bogdan & Mirabella Minute, music directors. Included will be Joseph Martin’s “Ceremony of Candles,” a cantata for Advent and Christmas.

We went to the Palladium in Carmel to hear the wonderful choral groups from Guerin Catholic High School and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Choir. Also performing were many volunteers from both schools as well as from St. Elizabeth Seton Church and the St. Augustine Home. The play presented was “A Celebration of St. Jeanne Jugan” accompanied by the massive choir dressed in appropriate robes from each school with glorious young and exceptional voices. The play related the story of the foundress of The Little Sisters of the Poor in 1873, and the present day St. Augustine Home, which has cared for thousands of elderly persons regardless of religion or ethnic origin.

My granddaughter, Grace Poynter, sings in the Guerin choir directed by Mark Duray. The Mount Carmel musical director is Rex Benjamin Rund. Many individuals gave their time and talent in producing this very moving presentation about an individual who worked tirelessly in helping the poor and elderly.

Dan McKinley’s recent brilliant performance with the Columbus Philharmonic at the First Christian Church was attended by three very excited young ladies from Borden, Dan’s hometown. They are members of the Farabee family and are nieces of Mimi and Jim Riffle. Sharon was one year ahead of Dan, Kathy one class behind and Becky three years later was a classmate of his brother, Mark. The girls all had Dan’s mother as their fifth-grade (and favorite) teacher and his dad as their principal and teacher. They just love the whole McKinley family and had a delightful reunion at the concert. Dan’s music was deeply moving for them, hearing him play organ for the first time. With Kathy in the high school band, Dan played tuba and also piano in his youth.

David Bowden’s “Bring It Home” theme had everyone glowing with happiness.

Nancy Fritsch and Barbara Fortner can be reached at nancypencefritsch@att.net.

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