German Village Gazette

Village Singers

Christmas concert will include audience participation

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Mary Jo Apisa (center) sings A Doo-Wop Christmas while rehearsing with the Village Singers for the annual Christmas concert. The group will perform two shows, at 7 p.m., Dec. 14, 2013, and 3 p.m., Dec. 15, 2013. Both concerts will be in the German Village Meeting Haus, 588 S. Third St.

The definition of Christmas will be very much up to individual audience members at the Village Singers' 12th annual holiday performance.

Christmas Is ... will be performed at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 and 3 p.m. Dec. 15 in the German Village Meeting Haus, 588 S. Third St. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at the Meeting Haus prior to and the day of the concerts.

Wayne Owens, founder and general manager of the choral group, said that in the past, members of the Singers would recite Bible passages, famous poems about Christmas and celebrated sayings about the season.

This year, during intermission he will go into the crowd and ask audience members what Christmas means to them.

"That's a little risky, but I'm going to do it anyway," Owens said. "I think it could be very interesting."

The repertoire includes sacred and secular numbers, as well as some Hannukah songs. New songs include 364 Days to Go, Up Above My Head, A Doo-Wop Christmas and Christmas Chopsticks, which will feature dueling pianos.

More than 30 vocalists from six communities in central Ohio will perform this year.

"I feel very good about where we are right now," director Karla Wright said at a rehearsal Nov. 25.

"In my opinion, the talent keeps getting stronger and stronger," Wright said. "We're drawing from a wide base."

Singer Jennifer Belt of Orient agreed.

"This choir gets better every performance," said Belt, who's been with the group since 2008.

"Karla makes it fun to be here," added Pamela Gillum, a German Village resident who has been a member since 2005.

Owens said the ensemble will not accept new members for the Christmas performance, but will seek all vocal ranges for its spring concert, Magic Moments. Rehearsals for that show begin Jan. 20.