A Reason for the Season

February 14, 2024

PINEVILLE, LA. – The Christmas band, with first-time director and high school senior Deshawn Glynn, played Leroy Anderson’s “A Christmas Festival,” a medley of Christmas songs in a community concert at the Central Louisiana Seventh-day Adventist Church. Musicians of different denominations, from high school students to retirement age, played trombones, flutes, trumpets, saxophones, drums and even an oboe. Two physicians, several teachers, a university band director, a food bank worker and five flutists made up this elite group. Special guests Janet Williams and Zsa Nai Long, both praise music leaders at the Fondren Southwest Seventh-day Adventist Worship Center in Houston, sang along with local choir director, Luchette Pender, in a trio. The Christmas choir was a combination of Maranatha and Smyrna Seventh-day Adventist Churches, led by Luchette Pender and Carey Walker.

During an interlude, host Mike Martinez, pastor of Central Louisiana church, and his wife, Bobie, promoted the church’s upcoming Nedley Depression and Anxiety Recovery program with light banter and a personal anecdote. About 15 signed interest cards.

The concert started with a flute choir that played Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.” A highlight of the evening was 98-year-old James Killebrew Sr.’s rendition of “In the Morning When I Rise-Give Me Jesus,” adding his deep voice to his harmonica. Arturo McJones sang his Christmas song in Spanish and Hope Bridges and Terri Proshee both sang solos. The evening turned out to be a beautiful, fun, laughter-filled, multicultural, multigenerational experience.

By Christine Ince, M.D.