By Leila Dycus, Staff Writer
The sign out front reads sold out and inside people pack the auditorium in search of the perfect seats. “It’s great to spend Christmas in Madison,” said Stokes. On Friday Dec. 13 the Madison- Morgan Cultural Center presented its Community Holiday Concert.
The event, which was sponsored by United Bank, featured numerous acts from around Morgan County. Jimmy Stokes emceed the concert. First up, was a bell choir comprised of members from Madison Baptist and Presbyterian Churches.
The choirs opened the show with Jingle Bells, Up on the Housetop, Trepak from the “Nutcracker” and Joy to the World. The crowd responded loudly with clapping. “If that doesn’t get you in the Christmas mood you need to have your vitals checked,” said Stokes.
The emcee went on to thank those who had brought a canned good. The event encouraged people to bring canned goods in support of the Caring Place, a local food pantry. He also thanked United Bank and said that this was a time of celebration, joy, and loving one another.
Performing to Silent Night the advanced ballet group from Pointe of Grace Dance Academy took the stage. The group was comprised of dancers: Jessie Adams, Annie Akins, Brandi Davidoff, Taylor Faust, Marie Hayes, Mary Win Ligan, Megan Hume and Leslie Wasendarf. Crystal Lawrence choreographed the dance. As Stokes reappeared on stage he went on to talk about how he has lived in many communities and how there is no community like Madison.
It’s a town that people support each other. The next act was two educators, Mary-Katherine and Jeremy Skidmore. According to Stokes, Jeremy loves children and inspires children. Jeremy and Mary-Katherine sang Baby, It’s Cold Outside. Following the duo was a group that plays at Perk Avenue on Tuesday nights, The Madison Flea Pickers.
The Madison Flea Pickers featured a double bass, a banjo, a guitar and a harmonica player. The group sang Christmas Time’s A’Comin’ and I’ll Fly Away, which had the crowd stomping and clapping along. Middle School chorus teacher, Jared Register lead the crowd in the first of four audience sing-alongs to the tune of Joy to the World. Register encouraged the audience to get on their feet and sing with him. As the crowd sang Macy Johnson played the piano.
MaCayla Cook is a student at Morgan County High School. Most recently, MaCayla has been working to raise money for Show Hope an organization that helps make international adoptions possible. Cook performed A Baby Changes Everything a song made popular by Faith Hill.
The concert then took a 15-minute intermission. At the end of the intermission a drawling for a Jack’s Creek Christmas wreath was done. The next group to perform was the Madison Chamber Singers. Jared Register created the group of singers among the other work he does at the middle school and the Madison Methodist Church. According to Stokes the group was created this past fall.
The group performed There is Faint Music and A Baroque Christmas Festival. Register and Johnson again lead the audience in a sing-along this time to Deck the Halls. The next act was Leah Bonus, a violinist. Bonus is part of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and was accompanied by pianist Rebecca Johnson.
“I can assure you, you don’t learn to do that by watching YouTube videos,” said Stokes. After another sing-along to Jingle Bells it was Jessica Bailey’s turn to take the stage. According to Stokes, Jessica is the first representative from Morgan County to participate in All State Musical. Bailey sang Laudate Dominum by Mozart.
Next up were two educators from Morgan County Middle School, Jared Register and Kathleen Bryant. Kathleen is the drama teacher at the middle school, she also established the Morgan Community Theater. The duo sang Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. The last group of the evening was Ashburn Choral who sang Glorious Christmas Refrains, Latin America Christmas and Sing Joy. The evening wrapped up with the audience singing along to Silent Night and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.