Christmas concert caps celebration of sesquicentennial

Wrapping up a year of Pioneer Sesquicentennial celebration, the two stakes here presented the LDS Heritage Christmas Concert Dec. 14 at the Grand Junction Colorado Stake center.

Stake Pres. Curtis Taylor welcomed an audience of about 800 for the program that featured a sesquicentennial choir and instrumental ensemble.The 100-voice choir was made up of singers chosen from each ward of the two stakes. The seven instrumentalists - playing two trumpets, three trombones, a guitar and percussion - included Church members and non-members.

Selections were carefully chosen from Christmas music that has been written or arranged by LDS composers, including Robert Cundick, Lorin F. Wheelwright, Leroy Robertson, Robert P. Manookin and Clay Christiansen.

Monte E. Atkinson, director of choral music at Mesa State College and second counselor in the Grand Junction West stake presidency, conducted. J.C. Cook, whose arrangement of "Silent Night" concluded the concert, was guest conductor. He is the former director of the Colorado Mormon Chorale of Denver.

Pres. Atkinson envisioned the concert more than a year ago as a fitting conclusion to the local sesquicentennial observance. Priesthood leaders and music specialists from both stakes began preparation shortly after that.

On display in the foyer was the traveling exhibit created by the Church especially for display mainly at locations along the Mormon Trail during this sesquicentennial year. The exhibit had been displayed earlier in the year in the Grand Junction area.

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