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Callaway Singers to present Christmas Concert

The Callaway Singers will present their annual Christmas Concert Dec. 9 in Fulton with guest conductor David Rice.

Marlene Railton, Callaway Singers director, said the organization will present a free concert at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 9, in Dulany Auditorium at William Woods University.

Although the event is free and open to the public, donations to the Callaway Singers will be accepted at the door.

In addition to the annual Christmas Concert, the Callaway Singers have participated in many community efforts such as the Lessons and Carols Service at Westminster College and the Downtown Merchant’s Christmas Window unveilings. At the downtown merchant event, the Callaway Singers participates in a community sing and offers Christmas carolers on the streets.

For three years, the Callaway Singers had joint Christmas concerts with the three local high schools.

Choir member Mary Safire believes the Callaway Singers helps provide a level of community involvement. “Music makes us all smile. Children and adults alike enjoy the happiness that music brings into our lives. It enriches us all,” Safire said.

Railton said the Callaway Singers organization was formed five and one-half years ago at a fundraising dinner and concert to benefit the Callaway Arts Council.

“At that time we had 28 singers. We now have about 50 singers, including community leaders, teachers, county and business administrators. The group also includes students from William Woods University, the University of Missouri, Fulton High School, South Callaway High School, and North Callaway High School,” Railton said.

She said the group has been successful because of the commitment and desire of the singers to do something they love — to sing.

“I also believe that the public attendance at our concerts coupled with the community’s desire to actually have a community chorus speaks to the great success of this group. We sing for the community as well as for ourselves,” Railton said.

Tom Clapp has been singing with the group since 2006. “These are busy people with busy lives. Yet they find time to volunteer an extra night a week to sing with this group. Clapp said he appreciates the diversity of the group. “I’ve gotten to know several William Woods students and adults that I otherwise would have never known,” Clapp said.

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