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

Not everybody lined up to vote on Saturday. In Surrey, 68,396 mail-in ballots still need to be counted for the final election tally. (Black Press Media)
North Surrey voters steer left, South Surrey voters steer right

Once again, it’s NDP orange in the city’s north end, Liberal red in the south

Hundreds of people gathered in White Rock last year to participate in the annual Remembrance Day ceremony – but due to COVID-19, the city’s ceremony this year will be online only. (File photo)
White Rock chooses ‘virtual’ Remembrance Day

Due to COVID-19 the Nov. 11 ceremony will be online only

Peace Portal Alliance Church, at the corner of King George Boulevard and 152 Street, is the extreme-weather shelter for South Surrey for the upcoming season. It is to have 14 mats available nightly for those experiencing homelessness, regardless of weather conditions. (Tracy Holmes photo)
14 beds planned for South Surrey extreme-weather shelter

Webinar tonight to field questions, share info on Peace Portal Alliance Church refuge

Fraser Health declared an outbreak of COVID-19 at Delta Hospital on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. (Grace Kennedy photo)
Outbreak over at Delta Hospital

In all, 45 cases of COVID-19 were identified and seven patients died during the outbreak

The Sunshine Band Club video posted to Youtube.
VIDEO: Surrey youth band shines light on ‘COVID blues,’ raises money for hospital

Virtual concert from Sunshine Band Club, established last March

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Some of the characters in the League of Legends video game. (Photo: na.leagueoflegends.com)
E-sports trial at B.C. high schools to start with ‘League of Legends’ team game

For fall launch, Vancouver’s GameSeta company partners with BC School Sports

Graphic on promo material for Best Buy Canada’s Tech Wonderland event.
Drive-through ‘Tech Wonderland’ coming to PNE site a few weeks before Christmas

Best Buy Canada-backed ‘holiday’ event to raise money for charity

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Aaliyah Rosa. File photo
Crown says murder of seven-year-old in Langley was planned, deliberate

The trial of KerryAnn Lewis began Monday in New Westminster

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (B.C. government photo)
Unnamed school in Fraser Health region closed due to COVID-19

Closure announced by Dr. Bonnie Henry during daily briefing

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Most Read