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Interim Senior Pastor Rev. Carolyn H. Keilig plays in The Sabbath Bell Choir during the Santa Fund Christmas Concert at the First Congregational Church in Manchester Sunday. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)

First Congregational Church Santa Fund Christmas Concert makes season brighter


MANCHESTER -- Yuletide spirit was reflected in song and charity Sunday afternoon, as the First Congregational Church Santa Fund Christmas Concert drew hundreds to share the music of the season and create a brighter holiday for others.
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Church choirs sang, bell choirs chimed and the audience joined in traditional Christmas songs in the fundraising concert to benefit the Union Leader Santa Fund for the Salvation Army.

"It's something like this that is a really unique part of Manchester," said Capt. Herb Rader, who with his wife, Miriam, commands the Salvation Army in the city.
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Following the concert, members of the audience contributed to the Santa Fund to help young people over the Christmas season.

Young people were among the performers Sunday. Amelia Cote and Bridget Thornton, students at Central and Memorial high schools in the city, sang a duet.
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Abigail Curtis, a sophomore at Manchester High School Central, and Valentine Schelkin, an eighth-grader at St. Cashmir School, performed a piano duet of two movements from "The Nutcracker Suite." The two young teens have played piano for years and have performed together for the past two years. They said they weren't nervous to be performing in front of an audience of adults at the event.
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"We have several extraordinary young people in our church," said Kenneth Grinnell, the First Congregational music minister. "The future is bright."

billsmith@unionleader.com
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