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The Towne Singers will celebrate Christmas with two concerts next month. Both feature the Harry Simeone arrangement of Clement Clarke Moore’s enduring holiday favorite “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” as well as other sacred and secular Christmas music.

Concerts take place Sunday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. at Calvary United Methodist Church, 50 Norlo Dr., Fayetteville, and Sunday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. at Memorial Lutheran Church, 34 E. Orange St., Shippensburg.

The performance begins with a prelude-choral processional featuring Gordon Young’s “Toccata and Variations” based on the hymn tune “Hyfrydol” played by organist Nancy Fogelsanger.

The choir will also perform:

  • Brant Adams’ arrangement of Felix Mendelssohn’s “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,”
  • Healey Willan’s “Hodie, Christus Natus Est,”
  • Natalie Sleeth’s “Baby, What you Goin’ To Be?”
  • John Rutter’s arrangement of the traditional Spanish carol “Esta Noche” and
  • Blaine Shover’s arrangement of Thomas Matthews’ “O Come To My Heart Lord Jesus.”

Along with “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” other secular holiday favorites will include “Sleigh Ride,” arranged by Hawley Ades, and “Here We Come A-Caroling,” arranged by Brant Adams.

Concert soloists include MaryBeth Johnson, Brenda Kiser, Paul Dickerson, Brenda Mason, Don Dickinson, and Alan Johnson.

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Towne Singers
Dr. Blaine Shover

Dr. Blaine Shover serves as conductor and Valerie Merriman as accompanist of The Towne Singers.

Shover is on the music faculty at Shippensburg University. He directed the SU Concert Choir and Madrigal Singers for over 40 years. He is also the Artistic Director of Shippensburg’s summer music Festival and founder and director of Festival Chorus, a professional choir of 26 vocalists. 

Merriman teaches at the Cumberland Valley School of Music. She is well known in the area for her accompanying skills and her work with various theatre groups.

Nancy Fogelsanger, an organist and assistant accompanist, is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She serves as organist at Memorial Lutheran Church, Shippensburg.

Admission to the concerts is free. A goodwill offering will be taken at each concert.

About The Towne Singers

Since their first concert in 1970, The Towne Singers have been providing quality musical programs in south-central Pennsylvania.

Founded by Jane and Chuck Butler, the group began as an ensemble of eight singers. 

Over the last five decades, the group has grown to the current ensemble of thirty members.

The singers are a diverse group of individuals representing a variety of ages and professions who share a common bond: The love of music. 

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