Local choirs gather at ‘foot of cross’

Published 8:28 am Monday, February 25, 2008

By Staff
Second-annual event again fills First Baptist
Staff Writer
Celebrants from four of the first churches in Washington gathered Sunday to worship with their voices in a second-annual choir concert that proved as popular as the first.
The choir was pieced together by separate choirs from four Washington churches: First Baptist Church, First Christian Church, First presbyterian Church and First United Methodist Church. In total, 80 members of the four congregations, accompanied by a six-piece brass section from East Carolina University, piano and organ, entertained a packed sanctuary at First Baptist on Sunday afternoon.
The choir was led by First Baptist Church Minister of Music Greg Barmer, First Christian Church Choir Director Beth Clark and Michael Morgan, choir director of First Presbyterian Church.
The gathering lifted its voice for more than ten traditional hymns from across the spectrum of religious music, including two movements of a gothic suite set to organ and brass instruments. Despite the lulling tunes, fellowship across denominational lines was the primary purpose of the event.
When the event debuted last year, the sanctuary filled, prompting organizers to repeat the performance this year. In a previous interview with the Daily News, Pat Wheelock, one of the event’s organizers, said the concert’s popularity last year rendered those involved unable to imagine not getting together for the event this year.
Assembling the choir for the second-annual performance was no simple feat. Participants and their leaders met for several hours both Friday and Saturday to prepare and rehearse.
The practices and the final performance were made possible through First Christian Church’s Roberson-Bagwell Music Endowment, which covered expenses associated with putting on the show. God had a hand in the occasion as well, according to Barmer.