‘Joyful! Joyful!’ — a free holiday concert

On Friday, Dec. 7, the Minnesota Mormon Chorale and Orchestra will present its 15th annual Christmas concert, this year in collaboration with the Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir and The Hurst Family Experience. This year’s program is titled “Joyful! Joyful!” and features several gospel-style pieces, as well as more traditional carols. Accompaniment for the approximately 100 singers will be provided by a 25-plus piece orchestra and feature a 4,000 pipe organ. 

The “Joyful! Joyful!” Christmas concert is from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in Benson Great Hall on the Bethel University campus, 3900 Bethel Drive in Arden Hills. The concert is free to the public and no tickets are required, although donations are welcomed. 

This will be the first public collaboration between the choirs, representing a united community spirit that fits the program’s joyful holiday theme. “We enjoyed getting to know the other singers,” said Sarah Johnson, an alto in the Minnesota Mormon Chorale and resident of Shoreview. Being coached in gospel-style singing by David Hurst of the Hurst Family Experience was a new experience for many chorale members, who had to learn different vocal techniques and body movements. Johnson noted, however, that “above all else, David wanted us to sing from the heart,” which is something all singers in the choirs are accustomed to doing. 

North St. Paul resident Jenni Black has been attending the chorale’s Christmas concerts for years. “I’m always impressed with the chorale,” she said. “Their repertoire is varied and their sound is gorgeous. I can’t wait to hear them again!” 

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