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photo by Gord Bowes

photo by Gord Bowes

Loralee McGuirl is the new music director at Olivet United Church. Her first project is Sunday’s Christmas Cantata.

McGuirl puts stamp on Cantata

Show features church choir, unveiling of nativity scene

By Gord Bowes, News staff

If the snow last weekend didn’t get you in the holiday spirit, Sunday’s Christmas Cantata at Olivet United Church certainly will.

The show will feature classic carols with some of the church’s new music director’s own arrangements.

“There will also be some carols that aren’t done as often, such as Rise Up Shepherds and Follow, and Gesu Bambino,” says Loralee McGuirl, who joined Olivet in September.

McGuirl says she has been working with the choir since she started her new gig.

“As soon as I got here I knew what I wanted to do with them,” she says. “It’s a very talented church.”

The 31-year-old Mountain resident seems to have inspired the congregation, as the choir membership has grown to 30 from just nine before her arrival. Previously, the church has had to bring in some performers to round out the Christmas performance.

Sunday’s Cantata will include soloists from the choir and a four-piece band, with Krista Rhodes on piano and triplets Matthew, Jessica and Ellen Kawamoto on flute, trumpet and violin. The show will also feature two narrators and the unveiling of the nativity scene.

“The focus is the music but there’s also a dramatic element,” says McGuirl. “Everyone who comes out will have a great time.”

McGuirl has been performing since she was three, on stage with her mother and four sisters as the McGuirl Girls. These days, she sings with the Jimmy Stahl Big Band, teaches music at Burlington Christian Academy and also sculpts and paints.

Olivet is located at 40 Empress Ave. There is a potluck supper at 5 p.m.; the Cantata, with free admission, begins at 7 p.m. For more information, call 905-385-5305.

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