2016 Alcona GospelFest

Saturday, April 30, 2016
at St. Anne Catholic Church

Jean Wilson of Saline led the ecumenical choir at St. Anne Catholic Church.
Practice for the evening concert began at 12:30 in the afternoon. 
Jean Wilson taught the choir several new songs and rehearsed two familiar ones.
The choir numbered 56 people, including 16 from the One Voice Gospel Choir of Saline.
The choir broke for snacks about 2:30, then went back to work until 5 p.m.

At 6:15 p.m., when the dinner served by St. Anne's youth group ended, the sanctuary began to fill.
Jean Wilson started the GospelFest concert by leading members of the One Voice Gospel Choir in two songs. The 16 singers came north after Jean told them how much fun she'd had in 2015.

The second set of songs were sung by the duo of Gail Leeseberg and Sandy Cholewa.
Kimberley Makela sang and accompanied herself on a classic guitar.
The youth choir from St. Anne ended the first half of the show with two dynamic numbers.
Jean Wilson showed once again what an inspiring leader she is.
The choir sang “Unity," "Trading My Sorrows," "It's So Good," "Shout unto God with Joy!" "Somebody's Knocking at Your Door," "Tell Somebody," and "I Believe in the Power of God."
Susan Armstrong accompanied the concert on piano.
Jeremy Smith of Gaylord provided the percussion.
Several of the uptempo songs during the concert had both the choir and the audience clapping along.
The concert closed with the audience joining the choir in "How Great Thou Art."
Lynn VanderLinde, left, first brought the idea of an Alcona GospelFest to Inspiration Alcona. She recruited Jean Wilson, right, a founding director of the One VoiceGospel Choir in Saline, to lead local singers.

The 2016 Alcona GospelFest was blessed with an ecumenical choir of 41 local residents and 16 members of the One Voice Gospel Choir of Saline. The audience numbered 157, for a total attendance of 214 people.

Director Jean Wilson returned to lead the ecumenical choir for the second year, and this time sixteen of her downstate choir made the journey north with her to share in the excitement.

St. Anne Catholic Church hosted, and its youth group not only sang during the public concert but also served a dinner of spaghetti, salad, rolls and desserts before the concert. The dinner raised over $650 after expenses to fund the youths' trip to a religious conference in Ohio.

Inspiration Alcona is glad to bring such cultural events to our county and thanks everyone who turned out to sing, to eat or to listen to the music.

Photographer Ted Fines supplied the images above, for which he has our special thanks.

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St. Anne Catholic Church is at 110 S. State Street in Harrisville, Michigan, just south of the traffic light.

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