SELMA – The First Christian Church is continuing its Christmas Concert tradition and this year the event benefits Second Chance Animal Shelter.
The concert takes place at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15, at 2026 Arrants St.
Coordinator Jordan Williams said the event first started 12 years ago with just himself and his sister, Jessica Williams, performing at the encouragement of their piano teacher, Bertie Lou Hakker.
“I had wanted to play more than two pieces at our piano recital that year,” he said. Williams is the pianist for Selma’s First Christian Church and the pianist for mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.
For two years the brother and sister team performed duets and solos. In the following years, musician friends they met through school and other performances were added to the concert lineup. In 2011, they decided to turn the concerts into a philanthropic endeavor and raised funds through donations for local organizations such as Selma Cares and the Salvation Army.
Donations will again be accepted and the concert this year includes chamber singers, choral ensembles, piano duets, saxophonists and performances by local junior college and university music instructors.
“What Jessica and I enjoy the most about this concert is sharing music with the other performers and the community. We love being able to give opportunities to our friends to share the talents that they have, and to bring them all together to make music with one another. It gives the community a diverse program of Christmas music - sacred and secular - presented in different arrangements.”
Confirmed performers for this year’s concert include College of the Sequoias Chamber Singers and Fresno’s alumni chapter of the Mu Phi Epsilon Professional Music Fraternity. Soprano and vocal professor Heather Chu, who teaches at Fresno City, College of Sequoias and California State University, Bakersfield, will also perform. Chu has organized a choral ensemble performing that night. She will also conduct a closing choral song, “O Little Town of Bethlehem” accompanied by a small instrumental ensemble.
Other performances will include Reedley College’s soprano and choral director Harmony Murphy, soprano Tiffanie Trujillo, soprano Katie Knudson, baritone Joseph Vigil, vocalist Julie Eichelberger and tenor Christian Cabral who will sing the duet “Christmas Star” with Jessica Williams. Saxophonist Nick Bell and pianist/vocalist Bernadette Tasy are also confirmed performers. Tasy will perform the duet “Deck the Halls" with Jessica Williams and will sing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” with Jessica and Katie Knudson.