No snow; no problem: Rehearsals set for Christmas Concert

Aug. 25—Rodney "Maestro" Briggs says he isn't concerned about reaching out for Community Christmas Concert singers while high temperatures in McAlester still top 100 degrees.

With the first holiday concert rehearsal set for the coming week, a number of vocalists have already volunteered to participate.

"We're already looking at close to 70 singers," Briggs said, adding that concert organizers would like to have more.

"We'd like to have another 10 singers," said Briggs, who said if more than 10 additional vocalists volunteer, accommodations can be made to handle a higher number.

Briggs said organizers are looking for singers "who have had a little experience and can carry a tune."

This year's Community Christmas Concert is set for 7 p.m. on Dec. 9 at S. Arch Thompson Auditorium in McAlester.

Once again, it will feature a community choir backed by an orchestra.

The first rehearsal is set for 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 28, at Central Christian Church, 920 E. Central Ave., just off Ninth Street.

Anyone interested in joining the Community Christmas Choir can simply show up at the rehearsal, Briggs said. Those who aren't already registered should arrive a little earlier, around 6:30 p.m., to complete the registration process.

Choir members must purchase their own concert music, at a cost of $40 per person — with an exception.

Once again this year the concert is being held in partnership with the McAlester Arts and Humanities Council. By joining or renewing membership in the Arts Council at a cost of $35 annually, a membership benefit includes the concert music, organizers said.

Following the planned series of rehearsals, Community Choir members will join with the orchestra for the first time at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9, for a full pre-concert rehearsal at S. H. Thompson Auditorium.

Community Choir and Orchestra members are then to report back to the auditorium at 6:30 p.m., a half-hour prior to the concert's 7 p.m. starting time.

After the concert is finished, a community-wide reception is planned for down the street at the Puterbaugh Center at 501 N. Fifth St.

Once rehearsals begin on Aug. 28, they are to continue each Monday at 7 p.m. right up to the time for the December concert — with one exception.

"We don't rehearse on Monday, September 4," said Briggs.

Community Christmas Concert organizers believe even volunteer singers deserve a little time off for the Labor Day holiday.