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Conductor Lara Mills leads the Interfaith Choir through some stirring Christmas favorites at Sunday’s rehearsal. The choir will perform this week at the Community Christmas Sing-Along and at Music & Mangers.

Ten years ago, Erin Jensen and Elsie Wach started the Community Christmas Sing-Along, a non-denominational event sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The holiday tradition, which always falls in the first week of December, includes audience carol sing-along accompanied by an organ, as well as other musical numbers and short narration.

“Our motivation for starting the sing-along was to build on shared beliefs and celebration of Christmas in Teton Valley, to create a participatory Christmas event, and to showcase the organ a bit,” said Jensen, who is an organist as well as pianist.

In 2011, the City of Victor started offering Music & Mangers at its Christmas festival. The same year, an Interfaith Committee established the Interfaith Choir.

Jensen explained that the founders of the Interfaith Committee, including Shona Kasper, Bob and Lori Spoelhof, and others, hoped to build on shared beliefs in the community and increase the cooperation between the valley’s churches.

Several years ago, the committee members realized that combining the significant talents of the Interfaith Choir with the Community Christmas Sing-Along made perfect sense.

This year, Jensen has taken the helm of the growing Interfaith Choir with the help of Melanie Moulton. The choir started rehearsing at the beginning of November, and put the final polish on their pieces last Sunday. A small but mighty string section, headed up by Julie and Brent Schindler, practiced with them.

The sing-along is on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the Driggs LDS Church. All are welcome. The Interfaith Choir will once again perform at Music & Mangers this Saturday, Dec. 7 at the Victor Elementary. Music & Mangers runs from noon to 5 p.m.

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