Chorister bows out

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by Rachael Comer

Christmas concerts will come to a close for a Timaru Freemason this year.
Midland Masonic Choir Charity Concert organiser Berry Mitchell will stand down after about 25 years.
“I’ve been organising every one of the concerts and I announced to the choir at our Sunday night practice that I was finishing as the organiser of the concert this year.”
The choir has been running for the past 30 years.
“It’s for the love of music and the fellowship that goes with it.”
The evening will include Christmas carols, sing-alongs, raffles and entertainment from the winners of Masonic music scholarships.
“We give a $500 music scholarship to a student from each of the 11 secondary schools in our district and they come along and entertain at the concert, so there is a good variety.”
Money raised from this year’s concert will go to the Cystic Fibrosis Association. Mitchell said funds raised went to a different charity each year. Mitchell said he had enjoyed his time in charge but it was time to step aside and let someone else take over.
He still intended to be involved in concerts.
“Oh heavens yes. I’ll still be in the choir.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time organising the concert and it’s been challenging but it’s very satisfying when I see the enjoyment we give the audience,” he said.
Working together as a team was a highlight of being in the choir, Mitchell said.
“The club members get a terrific amount of pleasure out of singing together. I sometimes think the world would be a far better place if everyone could work together like a choir.”
The choir has about 18 members. At its peak it had 32.
For the first time in many years, the concert will not be held in the West End Hall, which was damaged in a fire in June.
The Midland Masonic Choir Charity Concert will be held on Saturday at the Savage Club Hall in Dee St, at 7.30pm. Admission is $10.