Cantata RW performed by choristers from 4 churches

Members of the community choir are, in front (standing) – Mary Gail Douglas, Louise Ruff; 2nd row – Dede Ruff, Mary Kunsman, Phyllis Gutierrez, Evelyn Denning, Toni Arrellano, Doug Ruff; 3rd row – Pam Laird, Laura Listrom, Stephanie Colvin, Kelly Lannigan, Karen Chapman, Grace Prichard, Vicki Maass, Emma Listrom; 4th row – Donnie Laird, Carey Listrom, Artie Connor, Bobbie Dove, Becky Porter, Susan Wilson, Robyn Belk, Allen Listrom III; 5th row – Rick Denning, Paul Dove, Jimmy Gladden, Doug Porter, Mike Lake, Fletcher Ross, Al Listrom, Richard Jones | Barbara’s Ball

RIDGEWAY – Thirty community choir members from First Baptist Church of Ridgeway, First Baptist Winnsboro, Aimwell Presbyterian (Ridgeway) and First United Methodist of Winnsboro performed the annual cantata – Emmanuel: Celebrating Heaven’s Child on Thursday, December 9 and again on Sunday , December 12.

After each evening presentation, a reception was organized for the community in the communion hall of the church.

A total offering of $702 was raised on both nights for the Fairfield Food Bank. Columbia Food Bank will match this offer by six times the offer amount.

The pairing of cantata and community choir was Mary Gail Douglas’ vision.

“Ridgeway’s First Baptist Church has not had a cantata for several years,” Douglas noted. “I knew some churches weren’t having Christmas programs this year due to the pandemic, so I thought we could get about 5-6 people from other churches together to help us present one.”

Her vision grew exponentially each week as word spread and those she invited invited others.

“We had over 100 people there every night,” Douglas said. “Our goal was not so much to perform a cantata as to share a message of hope and God’s incredible love with our community at Christmas.

This is something we talked about at every practice for 8 weeks. We’ve heard a lot of people say that music does just that.

The cantata’s choir director was Louise Ruff and Douglas served as musical director and pianist. Susan Wilson was also a pianist and the narrators were Doug and Dede Ruff.

The choir performed O Come All Ye Faithful, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, O Little Town of Bethlehem and Silent Night, Holy Night.

Soloist Vicki Maass sang Heaven’s Child and Louise Ruff sang Mary, Did You Know.


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