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Volume 24, Number 11 — December 2017

Mountain Empire Children's Choral Academy Christmas concerts

November 29, 2017

"Alleluia" is the theme of the Mountain Empire Children's Choral Academy concert season. "Our theme this year is in celebration of the 30th anniversary of our organization," says MECCA Artistic Director Jane DeLoach Morison. "MECCA began as the East Tennessee Children's Choir in 1987, but we have developed into a full-fledged choral organization with choirs for singers in grades one through 12."

The Christmas concert season is highlighted by collaborations with area ensembles, concerts in the Tri-Cities, performances at the Biltmore Estate, and Christmas tree lightings at the Johnson City Library and the Niswonger Children's Hospital. "Part of our mission is to be involved in the community, and our children love being able to give back by being part of the special Christmas tree ceremony at the Niswonger Children's Hospital. It is hard on families to have a child in the hospital at Christmas time, and the evening is so special as they choose a patient to light the tree. We sing carols, and everyone has cookies and fellowship."

Area music lovers can enjoy the choirs in holiday performances with the Symphony of the Mountains in Kingsport (Dec. 2, 3 p.m. at Toy F. Reid Auditorium), and Abingdon (Dec. 3, 3 p.m. at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center). In addition to the concerts with the orchestra, MECCA presents its annual Christmas concert Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m., at the First Presbyterian Church, Bristol, Tennessee. The Highlands Youth Ensemble presents its Christmas concert Dec. 16, 3 p.m. at Central Baptist Church in Johnson City, Tenn.

Both the East Tennessee Children's Choir and the Highlands Youth Ensemble have once again been invited to perform in the Winter Garden at Biltmore Estate for the Candlelight Christmas Evenings. Morison says, "We are honored to perform at Biltmore for the 15th straight year. It is like singing inside a Christmas card."

For more information, contact Jane Morison at 276-645-5785 or director@meccacademy.org, or visit www.meccacademy.org for updates.