Musician Jim Thirsk (right) will be putting on his second Christmas concert in collaboration with Cloverdale Baptist Church pastor Les Harder (left). (Grace Kennedy photo)

‘Sounds of Christmas’ to start off the holiday season at Cloverdale church

Night of gospel music planned for Dec. 1 at Cloverdale Baptist Church

When you walk into the Cloverdale Baptist Church on Dec. 1, music will be everywhere.

From the sounds of a piano in the foyer, to a gospel trio on stage, it will be hard to miss the sounds of Christmas. And that’s exactly what “Sounds of Christmas” concert organizer Jim Thirsk is hoping for.

“There’s music all the time,” the 90-year-old Langley musician said. “As soon as you walk in those doors there’s music, right up to 9 o’clock.”

The concert is not the first performance Thirsk has organized at the Cloverdale Baptist Church. His first was a gospel concert back in 2016, followed by the first Christmas concert, which saw about 800 people attend.

After a year’s hiatus, Thirsk is back organizing another Cloverdale Christmas event.

“I like the other concerts that we do, which are more of a gospel concert,” Thirsk said. “The Christmas [concert] is kind of special, worldwide when you think about it.”

This year, the concert will feature performances by the Pilkey Sisters, a White Rock-based trio well-versed in southern gospel who were nominated as last year’s New Artist of the Year for the Gospel Music Association Covenant Awards; Keith Bennett, a North Vancouver artist who is best known for his mastery of the harmonica; Mark Donnelly, Vancouver’s “Mr. O’ Canada” who has been opening NHL games with Canada’s national anthem for nearly 20 years; and the Class Brass Gospel Band, an eight-part band that brings the sounds of Dixie, Louisiana jazz and Tijuana brass together.

Also performing this year is Lillie Knauls, an African-American gospel singer.

“She’ll put you relaxed right off the bat. That’s her,” Thirsk said about the 80-year-old singer.

Known as the “hat lady,” because she rarely performs without some kind of headgear, Knauls has been performing since the 1960s. She was inducted into the Gospel Hall of Fame as part of the Edwin Hawkins Singers in 2000. Although she has performed in one of Thirsk’s local gospel concerts before, a broken ankle prevented her from taking part in the Christmas concert.

This time though, Thirsk is determined to have her perform.

“Everyone loves her,” he said. “She’s just so sweet, so loving. She just projects.”

Although each of the five performers will be putting a focus on Christmas music during the concert, there will also be traditional gospel songs. That mirrors the emphasis of the concert, Cloverdale Baptist Church pastor Les Harder said.

“Obviously for us, Christmas is the birth of Jesus Christ,” Harder said. “We want people to hear that story, to recognize it, to be able to come and celebrate it.

“The music [at the concert] is not about Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman,” he added. “I mean, Christmas trees and stuff is part of what our culture absorbs, but we really want it to be a focus on the birth of Christ and the reason we celebrate Christmas.”

The “Sounds of Christmas” will be held at the Cloverdale Baptist Church (18685 64 Ave) on Saturday, Dec. 1. The doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the concert starts at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets $20 in advance, and are available at Tom Lee Music in Langley (19638 Fraser Hwy), Pilgrim Book and Bible in Vancouver (2714 Kingsway) and House of James in Abbotsford (2743 Emerson St), as well as online at eventbrite.ca/e/sounds-of-christmas-tickets-50565171790.

A select number of tickets will also be available for Cloverdale Baptist Church members before and after the church services leading up to the concert.

Remaining tickets will be available at the door on Dec. 1 for $25.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Cloverdale

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cloverdale automobile shop offers to pick up, service, and drop off vehicles

Surrey’s Visscher-Pau Automotive starts ‘Blue Glove’ valet service — will cover Cloverdale, Langley, Newton, Fleetwood, and Hazelmere

White Rock brewery turns up the (alcohol by) volume in COVID-19 fight

3 Dogs Brewing is making hand sanitizer for frontline workers, general public

Surrey RCMP looking for ‘distraction theft’ suspect

Suspect allegedly tried to swipe a man’s necklace while giving him a hug

1,000 food hampers packed for delivery to students of Surrey’s inner-city schools

City Dream Centre-led initiative involved volunteer effort at Horizon Church in Newton

Surrey councillor wants property taxes deferred to December

Linda Annis is expected to present notice of motion to that effect at April 6 “virtual” council meeting

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

Fraser Valley auto sound business starts producing face shields

Certified Auto Sound & Security is doing what it can to help frontline healthcare workers.

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Most Read