The music of Christmas surrounds us now ... it rises above the commercialism and adds a reason to the season.

The annual Concordia Christmas concert in Moorhead drew hundreds of area listeners on Sunday. Lorie Line is scheduled to bring her meaning of Christmas to the Chester Fritz here on Dec. 15. And the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra is featuring "Young Stars of the International Arena'' at the Empire Arts Center downtown on Sunday.

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Fall Creek quartet will present a Tea Cup Christmas Dec. 14 at the Grand Forks Senior Center. This week, the Unforgettables chorus for people living with Alzheimer's will have their concert at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Calvary Lutheran Church.

Traditional Concert

For many, the Thursday Music Club rings in the feeling of Christmas every year in Grand Forks. More than 400 heard some of the finest musicians of this area in the concert at Calvary Lutheran as darkness was gathering Sunday. The music of Christmas was presented by Thursday Music Club chorus of 30 voices and a harp trio made up of Callie Stadem, Reagan McGillis and Amariah Pearlstein. Angela Schmaltz sang "Gesu Bambino" with accompaniment of Jonas Fisher on piano and Richard Sather on cello.

The beautiful voices of children were heard in three presentations by Grand Cities Children's Choir directed by Annella Winger and Ruth Ann Tuseth. There was a piano and cello duet by Jonas Fisher and Richard Sather. And the closing with "Oh Holy Night" featured voices of Ian Sherwood, Cole Sherwood and Karly Ritland.

There was a magical feeling of Christmas as the audience found their way over the icy walkways back to their cars.

It was, for me, the beginning of Christmas. It was with a feeling of thanks to Thursday Music Club for fostering music in Grand Forks.

A note on the program is a reminder: It's not over until it's over. Taping of the program that was done by Duaine Sanden and will air on KNOX on Christmas Eve.

Music for all ages

The music of Christmas in this area includes appearances here, there and almost everywhere by Don Craig's band. It encourages musicians of any age to get out and play music with friends.

Band members got together for a concert Monday evening at Popplers Music store. They will be playing at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Valley 4000 and at 2 p.m. on Dec. 10 at Tufte Manor. The last concert of the year will be at 10:30 a.m. Dec 13 at Hope Church pre-school in the Kmart mall.

Among well-known area musicians in the band are Einar Einarson and Mike Bakken, both trumpet players.

Besides spreading joy, Craig says he believes the band members care for each other. He thinks it shows in the way they make music.