17th annual Christmas concerts Dec. 8 at Gold Canyon United Methodist Church

The Gold Canyon United Methodist Church’s 17th annual Christmas concerts will be in the 1,200-seat sanctuary at 6640 S. Kings Ranch Road. (Submitted photo)

The music ministries of Gold Canyon United Methodist Church will present their 17th annual Christmas concerts at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8.

The concerts will be in the 1,200-seat sanctuary at the church, 6640 S. Kings Ranch Road, one block north of U.S. Highway 60 and 4 miles east of Apache Junction. The doors will open one hour prior to each concert.

The concerts will feature the Chancel Choir, Canyon Carillon Handbell Ringers, the Agape Brass Quintet, organ, piano and timpani.

Special guest artists include vocalists Wade and Cindy Hoff, Don Engbrecht, Marty Robison and piano/cello virtuosi The Rice Brothers – Johnny and Chris, according to a release.

Featured choral works include “Arise, Your Light Has Come” by David Danner, a special arrangement of “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” by Dan Forrest with choir, handbells, brass, timpani and a piano duet (four hands).

“The choir will even teach you how to make a special holiday treat. In addition, there will be several songs and carols including ‘Silent Night’ that celebrate the 100th anniversary of its first performance in Germany on Christmas Eve, 1818,” according to the release.

Other music includes “Sleigh Ride” by the Agape Brass, “Do You Hear What I Hear?” by Wade and Cindy Hoff, and “Ave Maria” by J. S. Bach and Charles Gounod played by the Rice Brothers.

Also, organist Doug Benton will play “Greensleeves” and baritone Don Engbrecht will sing “The Birthday of a King.”

“This is the biggest event we have all year,” Doug Benton, the church’s director of music ministries, said in the release.

“This will be my last set of Christmas concerts as I am retiring in July of 2019, so we are pulling out all the stops this year. We expect full houses at both concerts,” he said.

The Christmas concerts are open to the public at no charge as an offering will be received.  Everyone is asked to bring at least one non-perishable food item per person for the Gold Canyon UMC Food Bank.

The concerts will be live-streamed at the church’s Facebook page and at goldcanyonumc.org.  For more information, call the church at 480-982-3776.

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