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North Forsyth church holding Advent concert tonight

NORTH FORSYTH — Many congregations have traditions of holiday concerts, food and helping others, but this week one north Forsyth church will combine all three.

Described as “a feast of sweet music and treats,” Advent by Candle Light is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Catholic Church of the Good Shepherd.

“We are giving people a way to begin to celebrate Advent, which is the 40 days before Christmas happens,” said Nancy Smith, the church’s music director. “So we’re doing that through beautiful readings candle light and wonderful seasonal music.”

The choir will perform about 10 songs, mostly from a loft above the church, but will also come into the congregation for a few.

“One of the first ones we’ll do is ‘People Look East,’” said Duane Hunter, a choir member. “And we’ll actually be surrounding the congregation at that time.”

In addition to the singing, some of the music will be played on a new pipe organ recently added to the  loft.

“We just recently did a beautiful $3 million renovation and we have a beautiful organ in our balcony now, so some of our music will be done just by out pipe organ alone,” Smith said.

The event also will feature readings of poetry tied to Advent.

“I tried to find poems that work well with the music,” Smith said. “We’ve got some readings from some Irish poets.”

There is no cost to attend, but the church is accepting donations to help the less fortunate during winter.

“We’re asking if people would be generous and bring blankets, coats for anyone — children or adults — and monetary donations for the poor,” Smith said.

After the music and readings, some of the church’s other ministries will serve desserts to the crowd.

“This will be the first year for this event,” Smith said. “We are expecting it to be wonderful.”