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Sounds of season to fill Playhouse
Concerts, musical celebrate Christmas
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Forsyth County News

The Cumming Playhouse is offering many shows to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

From singers and dancers to classical instrumentalists, numerous performers will take to the playhouse stage this month in celebration of the holiday season.

Linda Heard, executive director of the playhouse, said December is always a busy month for the local theater.

“Customarily, we present a four-week, main stage musical or play suitable for the Christmas season, which begins around the middle of November,” she said.

“That usually leaves us time before Christmas to schedule our local shows, highlighting the musical talent of this area.”

This year’s holiday lineup includes:

North Georgia Barber Shop Singers Christmas Concert

8 p.m. Tuesday, Tickets: $15

Old-time barber shop harmonies will ring loud and clear during this performance.

The North Georgia Barber Shop Singers is made up of about two dozen men from Forsyth, Dawson, Lumpkin, Hall and White counties.

The group is a member of the Barber Shop Harmony Society, which encourages the preservation of the singing style.

According to information on the Cumming Playhouse Web site, the group “loves to produce that special sound and spread the joy of barber shop harmony throughout the five counties where members reside.”

This is the first Cumming Playhouse performance for the singers.

The show should be “an unforgettable, nostalgic holiday event for the whole family,” according to the Web site.

•   •   •

Sounds of Sawnee Christmas Concert

8 p.m. Thursday, Tickets: $15

Sounds of Sawnee Concert Band will present “Do You Hear What I Hear?” featuring a wide selection of holiday tunes.

Harold Titus, a member of the group, said currently there are about 50 active members of the band.

“The Sounds of Sawnee Concert Band will celebrate our 20th anniversary next year,” he said. “The first concert of the band was in December of 1993, which started a yearly tradition of presenting a holiday concert.”

Titus said the Christmas concert will offer selections from a wide cross section of genres.

“We’ll have popular pieces like ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ and sacred selections like ‘O Holy Night,’” he said.

There will also be classics such as “White Christmas” and “Sleigh Ride,” he said, and some “just for fun” including “Stars and Stripes for Christmas.”

Titus is hoping for a large crowd.

“There is a joy in our performance which we hope will instill joy for the season in our audience,” he said. “We promise the audience will leave smiling.”

•   •   •

Cumming Playhouse Singers Christmas Concert

8 p.m. Friday, Tickets: $15 or $20 to donate $5 to Liberty Middle School Chorus

Director Van McCollum said about 55 singers will take the stage for the group’s annual Christmas concert.

Most of the singers, which include men and women, hail from Forsyth County.

“I think we have one from Suwanee and one from Alpharetta … there’s a few that are scattered out, but mostly they’re from Forsyth County,” McCollum said.

This will be the seventh year for the group’s Christmas concert.

“It’s going to be, as usual, a variety of Christmas music from traditional carols to more modern, contemporary carols,” he said. “There will be a lot of favorites like ‘White Christmas’ and those sorts of things.”

This year’s concert will also feature a girls’ ensemble from Liberty Middle School.

“They’ll be participating with us and we’ll be sharing the proceeds to help support their program,” McCollum said.

He’s hoping for a large turnout.

“It’s always entertaining,” he said. “The title is ‘Welcome the Holidays’ and hopefully they’ll join us to do just that.”

•   •   •

Christmas Classics

3 p.m. Dec. 16, Tickets: $15

Jeanie Lipscomb, Marianna Carroll and Gloria Szokoly will present “Christmas Classics,” a traditional holiday music show.

First performed in 2004, “Christmas Classics” continues to embrace the founders’ idea of reclaiming and nurturing Cumming’s hometown Christmas spirit through a grassroots effort.

Each year’s performance is new and different, spotlighting accomplished local talent.

The ninth annual show will welcome back the North Georgia Chamber Symphony as one of several performances.

“We’ll also have a classical guitar, a young man playing piano, a ballerina and a jazz number,” Lipscomb said.

She encouraged audiences to attend for a diverse holiday show.

“Audiences should expect just a varied festive Christmas show in a classical style,” she said.

•   •   •

"Sanders Family Christmas"

8 p.m. Dec. 17-22, Tickets: $25

PlayRight Productions will present the holiday sequel to “Smoke on the Mountain.”  

Founding partner Renee Davis said audiences can catch up with the Sanders family, the gospel singers who lead the cast of the classic musical, which has been performed at the Cumming Playhouse several times in recent years.

“The Christmas play takes place nearly four years after the original,” she said. “It’s December 1941, just 18 days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and one of the Sanders’ own is preparing for war.”

As in “Smoke on the Mountain,” the Sanders family is invited back to perform during a church singing at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church.
The musical features more than two dozen classic Christmas carols and hymns.