HomeCinnaminson NewsCinnaminson Community Chorus presents ‘Deck the Halls’ Dec. 1

Cinnaminson Community Chorus presents ‘Deck the Halls’ Dec. 1

The annual winter concert will feature popular and secular holiday hits, followed by more traditional tunes

Not many people can say that for the last 30-some years, they have devoted themselves to their hometown’s community music program. But then again, most people aren’t Alan Blackford.

The lifelong musician and audiophile was only a 14-year-old freshman at Cinnaminson High School when his world cultures teacher approached him with a proposal. Also the director of the adult education program at Cinnaminson Public Schools, Blackford’s teacher offered him an audition for the program’s chorus.

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“He said, ‘I’ve come to understand that you’re a pretty decent pianist,’ and asked me if I had any interest in accompanying the chorus,” Blackford recalled. “So he sent the director over to my house.”

It was 1972, and the young, modest Blackford demonstrated his talent to then-director Marie Lumus, who promptly hired him. It was a little overwhelming, Blackford said, being so young and being placed in a group of adults. He quickly got over that initial awkwardness, and his passion for what is now the Cinnaminson Community Chorus hasn’t ceased since.

Even as an undergrad and then graduate student at the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts, Blackford was active in his beloved community chorus, where he stayed on as the assistant director until Lumus died in 1985. It was Lumus’ wish that Blackford assume her title, and he did so with pride. He was also there to help the chorus survive a transition when the adult education program disbanded, leaving the members uncertain of their group’s future.

Blackford, now retired from his position as the music teacher at Waterford School District, and the Cinnaminson Community Chorus are still going strong. Their annual holiday concert, this year named “Deck the Halls,” will be performed on the familiar stage of Cinnaminson High School on Dec. 1.

The first half of the concert will feature popular and secular holiday hits, followed by more traditional tunes.

“Our audience really enjoys the tradition we have created, especially with the holiday shows,” Blackford added.

With more than 50 members, some of whom are his old high school classmates, Blackford and the pack of vocalists have no plans of stopping anytime soon.

“The music and the people are why I do this. They bring me so much joy,” Blackford said. “What’s really special for me is having my high school choir-mates with me.”

“Deck the Halls” beings at 7:30 p.m. at Cinnaminson High School. Tickets are available at the door and are $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors and free for children 12 and under.


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