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Canton churches celebrate Winterfest with a multi-venue concert (VIDEO)


CANTON — The sound of bagpipes filled the village Monday night as a crowd of about 75 people moved from church to church for a progressive concert.

The Winterfest tradition started with a soup and bread dinner at St. Mary’s Church, 66 Court St., from 5 to 6 p.m.

The group then moved on to the First Presbyterian Church, 17 Park St., for the first of five 20-minute concerts.

The St. Lawrence University Laurentian Singers were the first show, who sang some of the repertoire for their upcoming tour March 7 to 16.

“This is a special performance we do in Canton each year,” Barry A. Torres, director of the Laurentian Singers, said.

Frank N. Colbert, Norwood, then led the crowd on to the next venue, while playing the bagpipes.

He’s been playing the bagpipes for over 14 years and braced the cold Monday night in a kilt.

“It’s cold, but it’s a lot of fun,” he said.

“There’s a lot of good music.”

Although they were each held in a different church, the concerts were not all sacred music.

“We have a wide variety of concerts and that’s what brings out such a wide variety of people,” Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce Sally A. Hill said.

From SLU’s undergraduate performers to folk songs, the crowd moved on to Grace Episcopal Church, 9 East Main St., where guitar player, singer and songwriter Barb Heller, Canton, was waiting for them.

“I’ve been on both sides of this event,” she said. “It brings everyone who wants to participate together.”

Ms. Heller said she’s performed during the progressive concert before and has also sat in the audience and followed along with the crowd to each performance.

On Monday night she serenaded the crowd and told stories about her close friends both past and present.

From there the group migrated to First Baptist Church, 5 East Main St., to hear the Northwinds Woodwinds perform, and to the Unitarian Universalist Church, 3 Main St., to hear the Noteworthy Hand Bell Choir.

The night ended at the United Methodist Church, 41 Court St., for the performance of Don Woodcock and Friends.

The group then stayed for hot drinks and cookies donated by each of the churches.

“People go to their own churches, but they’ve never really seen the inside of some of the other churches,” she said.

“You walk in and they’re so spectacular with different architecture and glass windows.”

Canton churches celebrate Winterfest with multi-venue concert
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