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Choir of the Center Celebrates the Holiday Season at First United Methodist Church

The garland is hung and the Men of Music are rehearsing in preparation for the annual Christmas concert taking place at the First United Methodist Church on Sunday, Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. The theme of this year, How Great Our Joy, will include Christmas carols and holiday songs that appeal to audiences of all ages.

Formed in 1936, the Men of Music is among Michigan’s oldest choral groups. A four-part harmony ensemble specializing in popular, folk and barbershop music; the group boasts a loyal membership of 60 men.  

“As always we will do a mixture of sacred and secular selections for this Christmas concert. The men look forward to dressing up, facing the audience and singing their hearts out,” said Grace Marra, conductor of the Men of Music. “After our concert, so many people come up to us and say, ‘now it can be Christmas because the men of music have sung,’ and people consider it the start of the season.”

A monumental year for Marra, celebrating 25 years as director of the Men of Music, she described why she has been involved throughout the years, “This is my favorite job, I love my men, I love the sound; I wave my arms and they sing, it’s music to my heart. The dynamic of having a female conductor with 60 men is a whole lot of fun, and it has been a pleasure to direct these men for 25 years.”

The Dirty Dozen, a men’s vocal ensemble; and Musique de Chambre, a string quartet, will be featured performers at the concert with accompaniment by Jan Sutherland. A free will offering to benefit The Midland County Emergency Food Pantry Network will be received during a brief intermission. The same concert will be repeated at the First Presbyterian Church on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 3 p.m. For more information about the Men of Music, please visit

About the author

Josh Holliday

Josh Holliday

Josh Holliday is the former Director of Communications at Midland Center for the Arts. Telling the stories of artists, innovators and modern day explorers!

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