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By BETH ZUMWALT
With the exception of 2020, when the event was cancelled due to COVID, the Barry Community Chorus’s Christmas Cantata is a Christmas tradition enjoyed by the area.
“We have vocalists from Jerseyville, Alton, Quincy and several local singers,” Judy Steer,director of the group since 1986, said.
According to Steers, Tom Morgan was the music teacher at Barry Schools in 1976 when he got a group together for a bi-centennial musical celebration of patriotic songs.
“Then it spread to Easter, then Christmas,” Steers said.
Interest in the event remains high. This year 30 individuals participated and according to Steers, 15 of those were male, with eight of those being tenors.
“That’s just unheard of,” she said.
Although the average age of the participants is older, Steers said a few younger people have joined through the years.
“For some it is the only time of the year, they see each other,” she said. “It is a fun time, getting together and singing during the holidays.”
Those participating in presenting the Tidings of Joy this year were: Steers, director; Cindy Piper, accompanist; Rev. JoAnn Ruff, narrator; Rev. Dan North, narrator; and Teresa Gotten, penny whistle. Soloists and choir members: Amelia Laugher, Theresa Laugher, Cindy Conkright, Jo Lynn Fee, Michelle Rennecker, Laurie Brace, Teresa Goetten, Sandy Kirgan, Jeanette Cole, Laverda Gleckler, Crissy Goetten, Harriet Grubb, Tera Hart, Gretchen Hodges, Tina Moyer, Galen Conkright, Dan Lohnes, Tom Merryman, Jim Reed, Kirk Rueb, Chuck Seybold, Larry Stapleton, Mike Wheelan, Jim Funk, Boby Gleckler, Kevin Heberlein, Clay Lister, Bob Lister Lamar McCoy and Bob Steers.