Meadville Tribune

Local News

December 6, 2012

Living Christmas tree ready to shine — and sing

CONNEAUT LAKE — Jon Armstrong relishes being part of the annual Living Christmas Tree Choir at Conneaut Lake’s Trinity United Methodist Church for one simple reason.

“I love to give enjoyment to people,” said Armstrong, Linesville resident.

“I love watching the audience, seeing their faces light up,” he continued. “It gives you a good feeling. It gives what I call ‘God bumps.’ ”

Armstrong is among more than 80 singers who will perform free concerts this weekend in a towering, lighted Christmas tree that is 20 feet high inside the sanctuary at Trinity United Methodist Church of Conneaut Lake. In addition to the music, the program features a colored-light show on the tree accompanying the singers.

This Friday, Saturday and Sunday marks the 27th annual free Christmas music program at Trinity United Methodist Church. “The Hope of Christmas — Share the Light” is this year’s presentation at the church under the direction of Tina Teeter.

Armstrong, who has a booming bass voice, is a veteran of almost all of the shows — this is his 25th year in the choir.

“I don’t get a chance to sing in the choir at church because of my work schedule, but I like to perform,” said Armstrong.

The singers come from churches mainly in Crawford County, but there are singers from other areas such as Venango County and Ashtabula County, Ohio.

There are no tryouts — just a desire to sing is needed, according to Ginny Trimble, a member of the Living Christmas Tree Choir’s organizing committee.

“Nobody is turned away,” said Trimble. “Most of our singers are with a church, but we have some who aren’t.”

The performances packed the church — attracting about 300 persons to each show, Trimble said.

Planning for the annual choir begins about six months ahead of time, with music selected by late summer. Choir practices start in early October in preparation for the concert, said Trimble.

Admission to the concert is free. Any donations received at the performances are distributed to charities in the area such as the Samaritans of Conneaut Lake, the Salvation Army and others, Trimble said.

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