published Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Metropolitan Bells, Lutheran Choral Festival kick off Advent season

The Metropolitan Bells group will ring in the Advent/Christmas season when it presents the first of seven holiday concerts on Friday at First United Methodist Church in Cleveland, Tenn.

The group, now in its 17th season, is an advanced community handbell ensemble of ringers.

Director Gary Bynum, an original member of the group and its leader for seven years, said the concert will introduce new numbers and bring back old favorites.

A favorite for many years that will be repeated, said Bynum, is "Up on the Housetop." Being reprised from last year are "Bugler's Holiday" and "Wizards in Winter." (The ensemble's concerts may be found in the list below.)

The Lutheran Advent Choral Festival, now in its 31st year, will be Dec. 4, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

The event, which rotates locations from year to year with First Lutheran Church, will feature excerpts from George F. Handel's "Messiah" including the Hallelujah Chorus.

Most of the selections, said director Sandy Morris, "can apply to any season."

The music will be sung by a combined choir of up to 60 members of Cross of Christ, First, Prince of Peace, Resurrection and the host Lutheran churches. They will be accompanied by 16 present or former members of the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra.

"The churches look forward to this festival," Morris said. "Many of them say it begins the Advent season for them and gets them into the true spirit of Advent. It's been a priority for so many years."



SEASONAL EVENTS

Music

  • St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 305 W. Seventh St., 12:05 p.m. Wednesdays, Nov. 30-Dec. 21; midweek Advent concerts/lunches with musicians (Wednesday, Chattanooga Girls Choir; Dec. 7, Christie Burns and Friends; Dec. 14, Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra Woodwind Quintet; Dec. 21, The King's Quire); free but freewill offering welcome; 266-8195.

  • Second Presbyterian Church, 700 Pine St.; noon Wednesdays, Nov. 30-Dec. 21; midweek Advent services/lunches with guest soloists (Wednesday, Gary Scheufler; Dec. 7, Justin Hipp; Dec. 14, Amanda and Brett Hyberger; Dec. 21, Penny Tullock); free; 266-2828.

  • First United Methodist Church, 3425 N. Ocoee St., Cleveland, Tenn.; 7:30 p.m. Friday; holiday concert by The Metropolitan Bells (also 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9-10, Bryan College, Rudd Auditorium, as part of Fine Arts Christmas Concert; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13, Christ United Methodist Church, 8645 East Brainerd Road; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15, Brainerd Baptist Church, 300 Brookfield Ave.; and 8 p.m. Dec. 17 and 2 p.m. Dec. 18, Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St., as part of Chattanooga Symphony and Opera's Home for the Holidays); free but donations accepted; 899-3543, 535-3076, 504-4679.

  • St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 305 W. Seventh St., 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4; service of lessons and carols (supper follows); 266-8195.

  • Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 822 Belvoir Ave.; 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4; 31st annual Lutheran Advent Choral Festival features members of Good Shepherd, Cross of Christ, Prince of Peace, Resurrection and First Lutheran churches and accompanists from the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra and the Tri-State Musicians' Union and includes excerpts from Handel's "Messiah"; free but love offering will be received; 629-4661.

  • Jones Memorial United Methodist Church, 4131 Ringgold Road; 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4; Pioneer Christmas, sanctuary choir benefit dinner/silent auction/presentation of "The Glorious Lamb of Christ"; $10 adults, $5 children ($12 and $6 after Sunday); 629-9388.

  • Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 822 Belvoir Ave.; 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7, Music for Advent services feature music by Chattanooga Girls Choir, and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14, Advent service featuring music by Jericho Brass; free but love offering will be taken; 629-4661.

  • Hixson United Methodist Church, 5301 Old Hixson Pike; 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11; "A Musical Christmas"; 877-1246.

  • Northminster Presbyterian Church, 4791 Hal Drive; 11 a.m. Dec. 11; service includes A Ceremony of Lessons and Carols featuring parts of 26 carols together with Scripture readings; 894-3773.

  • Carpenter's Cowboy Church, 3616 Rossville Blvd.; 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17; concert, "The Newborn King," features fully orchestrated carols from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England, and other music arranged and performed by Norris & Smart (reception follows); free; 355-2962.

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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