For the past 25 years, music lovers from Sequim and Port Angeles have opened the Christmas season with song.
The Sequim Community Christmas Chorus, a nondenominational ecumenical group, will bring together 80 people from 14 churches for three concerts Friday-Sunday, Dec. 4-6, at Sequim Bible Church, 847 N. Sequim Ave.
"To celebrate the 25th anniversary, we've chosen to repeat the theme of the first concert, 'Peace on Earth!' and to include some of the best-loved pieces the chorus has sung since 1984," said chorus director Gary McRoberts.
"We're excited about doing three beautiful pieces by Sequim composer Karen Williamson that were sung in the 2004 concerts as well as the new composition she wrote this year."
The chorus will perform 17 songs at each performance plus a spiritual reading and a medley by Erin Hennessey (violin), Marlene Moore (cello) and Kayla Dyment (piano).
The Sequim High School Brass Ensemble will play in the lobby before the performances on Friday and Sunday. Buttons and Bows, a flute and cello duo, will play before the Saturday performance.
Chorus members Linda and Ed Bauer and Nancy Dinan have sung with the group since it began.
Linda said Elaine Carlson brainstormed the idea of the chorus, wanting to emphasize the Christmas spirit, bring Christ back into it and gather singers from all the local churches together.
The original director was Phil Rader, who led 175 singers, including the Sequim High School choir and bell choir. The crowd was so large at Sequim Seventh-day Adventist Church that many had to sit in the hallways.
There have been 11 directors since Rader, with McRoberts directing the chorus since 2006.
He has more than 30 years experience directing high school, college, church and community choruses.
The chorus is open to singers of all backgrounds, religions and levels of experience. Participating in the chorus does not require auditions or fees. Rehearsals began in September.
The performances are presented by the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce. This year a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Sequim Community Aid.
Tickets: $5, free for children under 12, available at Bauer Interior Designs, 119 N. Sequim Ave.; Frick Drug, 609 Village Square Center; Hardy's Market, 10200 Old Olympic Highway; Sequim Dry Cleaning & Laundry, 225 E. Washington St.;
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce, 1192 E. Washington St., all in Sequim; Sequim Village Glass, 761 Carlsborg Road, Carlsborg; and at the door.