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NW-SCC welcomes all to A Christmas Celebration

By Tyler Hargett for the FCT

Music is in the air as everyone is preparing to celebrate the holiday season, and last Sunday, Russellville First Baptist Church served as the host venue for the musical event A Christmas Celebration!

This concert featured the combined talents of the Northwest-Shoals Chorale and Jazz Band. Led by Chorale Director Jeff McAllister and Jazz Band Director George Crummie, the church was filled with the sounds of classic carols, traditional hymns and several other surprises in the show that McAllister promised would feature “a lot of variety.”

Starting off with the Northwest-Shoals Chorale, the event began with a performance of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” which was followed by a variety of classics such as “Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light,” “Carol of the Bells” and “Mary Did You Know?” Their performance concluded with “Angels from the Realms of Glory.”

After the intermission, the Northwest-Shoals Jazz Band performed song after song, beginning with “St. Louis Blues.” This was followed by classics such as “The First Noel” and “What Child Is This,” before concluding with “It Don’t Mean a Thing.”

Notably, Robin Akers, one of Crummie’s band members from the ’90s, took the stage to play piano for the song “What Child Is This?”

McAllister himself  joined the band on trumpet to help with their performances.

“When I was younger, I was a trumpet player,” said McAllister. “George was short on trumpets. and I told him I would play for him.”

The event proved successful as a massive crowd turned out to see the performances, nearly filling all of the seats in the church.  “It went very well,” McAllister said. “I was really satisfied with the crowd we had, and they all seemed to enjoy it. I thought both groups performed well.

“It’s good to see, after a lot of work, for them to perform well when they get in front of people because that’s when the pressure hits. I’m very pleased with them.”