Tomorrow is Dec. 1. So, by now the witches
are finished spooking and the kids are off their
sugar high. Plus, the turkey has sacrificed
itself for the good of all of us. Black Friday
and Cyber Monday are pushing to take center
stage this month. Is that really the best we can
focus on for December? Let’s hope not. We
have too many local activities to allow that.
Did you know that one of them is celebrating
its 40th year in existence this season? That
would be our Community Choir. I can still do
math, so that would be back in 1978. Where
were you then? I was living in Ely, Nev., with
two kids still in school and the other two in
Patty Kerback lit the candle that became
today’s Community Choir. She was accompanied
by Miriam Kerback. Traditionally
performed during the Christmas season, it
started as a more structured Lessons and Carols,
made up of scripture and song. For more
than 20 years Coralee Petersen was director,
and Sue Briggs-Stanfill also served for a time.
Today’s leader is Candy Herda-Scott who has
converted it to a celebration of the Christmas
Story told in scripture and song.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Community
Church of Christ and Our Lady of Peace
Catholic Church rotated as host churches for
this ecumenical event over a number of years.
More recently the Church of Latter-day Saints
and the Lutheran Church have participated.
So, are you a singer? I do love music but
at this stage of my life, I am best relegated
to sitting in the audience. Participation is to
open anyone who loves to sing and is willing
to commit time to rehearsal. You would have
to schedule your hunting and such activities
to days other than Sundays. Practice begins
the first Sunday in October and every Sunday
thereafter until performance time in December.
That would include approximately eight
Sundays, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. You can
tell these folks put the time in when you hear
This year’s choir totals about 60 participants,
with a number of students from Pinedale
High School choir joining in the finale.
The group includes 30-year members as well
as newcomers. Coralee Petersen and JJ Huntley
are the accompanists. Watch their fingers
make a piano do what it’s meant to do. There
will also be some instrumental accompanists.
So, right now, go to your calendar and mark
these dates and times so you don’t miss out
in soaking up some real Christmas spirit. A
shortened performance will be offered in the
Heritage Room at the Sublette Center on Saturday,
Dec. 1, at 3 p.m. The Big Piney concert
is in the chapel at the Church of Latter Day
Saints on Dec. 9 at 1 p.m.
If you missed those, you have one more
chance to enjoy the Community Choir. Come
to the Lovatt Room at the Pinedale Library on
Sunday, Dec. 9, 3 p.m. This is the first year
the choir performs there. St. Andrew’s Episcopal
Church acts as host this year. If you have
never been before, expect a greeting by the
pastor, the music performance and a reception
afterward. That would be the time to thank
these musicians for their dedication in bringing
it all to fruition.
You should be aware that the Community
Choir is a non-profit, 501©3 organization
under the umbrella of the Pinedale Fine Arts
Council. A goodwill offering is always appreciated
to help buy music, pay printing costs
and the accompanists. After all, we do want
to enjoy them next year. Nonperishable food
items may also be donated.
Besides our Community Choir, many other
events are scheduled in Sublette County. On
Dec. 6 the Pinedale Fine Arts Christmas program
features “Barefoot Movement” – in the
high school auditorium, of course. Too icy
outside for barefeet.
Dec. 7 offers the annual Museum of the
Mountain Man chocolate and wreath auction.
Talented folks create some amazing wreaths
for this, which helps support our favorite museum.
Dec. 8 is a busy date. Featuring a Mountain
Man Christmas and lighting the tree at the
Sublette County Court House, plus the Land
Trust Open House. You’ll see all your friends
and neighbors out and about on that day. Not
to be outdone or overlooked, there is a Cowpokes
for Christmas Concert on Dec. 14. Over
in Big Piney on Dec. 18 you can enjoy the Parade
Would anyone dare suggest that small
towns lack in celebrating the Christmas season?
Just don’t miss the Community Choir
Concert. Music nourishes and soothes the
soul. Online shopping won’t do that for you. n
Mary Louise Routh Brodie is a freelance
writer and Pinedale resident. Her
column appears in the Roundup every