A Joyful Christmas

The Peninsula Singers, a 60-voice choir under the direction of Merle Colburn. Submitted photo.

The Peninsula Singers, a 60-voice choir directed by Merle Colburn and accompanied by Janet Anderson, will present its 38th annual holiday concert twice this week: at 7 pm on Saturday, Dec. 13 at the Sturgeon Bay United Methodist Church, and at 3 pm on Sunday, Dec. 14, at the Door Community Auditorium in Fish Creek.

This year’s concerts will include a special treat – numbers by The Anderson Brass Quartet – sponsored by Keith Kasen in honor of his father, Mel, the founding director of the Peninsula Chamber Singers, as the group was originally known.

The quartet, organized by Andy Anderson specifically for these concerts, includes: Anderson and Mark Fisher, trumpets; George Draeb, trombone; and Craig McClelland, tuba. They will play with the choir on three songs. The trumpets will accompany the singers on other numbers and the quartet will also perform on their own, accompanied by Janet Anderson.

Handbells played by Judy Paulson, Ricki Mitchell, Jeanne Barnard and Bonnie Morrell, all members of the choir, will accompany two numbers.

Merle Colburn selected music from around the world for the concert to reflect the joy of the Christmas season. The program will include: “Gloria Fanfare” by Laura Farnell; “Over Snowy Winter Roads” from Estonia; “Mary’s Little Boy Chile” from the Caribbean, with solos by Holly Okkerse, Taylor Daiella, Jeanne Barnard and Kristin Malnory; “Sleigh Bells” from Ukraine; “Sing We Now of Christmas” from France; “Mary, Did You Know?” with a solo by Phillip Okkerse; “Betelehemu” from Nigeria, directed by assistant director Martha Ranek, accompanied by percussionists Paulson, Mitchell and Bob Oftedahl; and “O Come, Little Children” from Germany.

Sue Hepp is president of The Peninsula Singers Board of Directors and Kathryn Colburn is the assistant accompanist. The singers come from Door and Kewaunee counties have been rehearsing since September to bring the gift of special holiday music to the community. Contributions to support the nonprofit organization are gratefully accepted.

The Sturgeon Bay UMC is located at 836 Michigan St. The Door Community Auditorium is at 3926 Hwy. 42 in Fish Creek. Additional information may be found at