Milligan College presents free Christmas musical

Milligan College will present "A Milligan College Christmas" on Sunday, Dec. 7, at 8 p.m. in Seeger Memorial Chapel. The concert is free but canned food donations will be collected to benefit Haven of Mercy, a Christian homeless shelter and daily feeding program in Johnson City. The Christian ministry, which serves an average of 250 meals daily, recently reported a shortage of supplies leading into the holidays.
   The community Christmas concert is directed by John Wakefield, associate professor of music, and will feature the Milligan Brass Choir, Chamber Orchestra, Concert Choir, Milligan Men, Milligan Singers and the Elizabethton Handbell Choir. Much of the music will be familiar songs of the season.
   Keith Hertzog, Milligan graduate and local storyteller, is the featured storyteller for the event. According to a news release, Hertzog has "distinguished himself as a witty and heartwarming storyteller. He teaches at Fairmont Elementary School in Johnson City, where he has received numerous teaching awards. Hertzog also directs Milligan's annual Summer Arts Camp for children. He will tell a Christmas story for all ages."
   "This beautiful production will capture the spirit of Christmas through the performance of these ensembles and will provide the entire family a way to usher in the Christmas season," said Wakefield.
   At the evening's closing, the musical ensembles will invite the audience to join in singing favorite traditional hymns of the season, followed by a special candle lighting ceremony.
   A suggested donation of canned goods, hams or toiletry items is requested for the Haven of Mercy. Needed items include canned goods, such as green beans, corn, baked beans, peas or soup, or toiletry items such as soap, deodorant, shampoo, shaving cream or laundry detergent.
   "There is a great need in our community, especially in the cold weather," said Jim Mangiacotti, director of operations at Haven of Mercy, which relies solely on donations of others to keep their doors open. "There are many disadvantaged people living in our area who do not even have the basic staples for daily living that many people take for granted. We appreciate Milligan College for thinking of us and reaching out to our community through the preparation of this wonderful concert."
   The doors to Seeger Chapel will open for seating at 7:30 p.m. For more information, contact the Milligan Music Office at 461-8723.