A Circle of Friends




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House Opens 30 minutes before Showtime

A Circle of Friends
Friday, May 10th Only! 7:30pm
It's A Night Of 'Sing And Ring' With This Tremendous Choral & Bell Group


It is a blessing and a privilege to welcome A Circle of Friends to The Strand stage for a special, One-Night-Only benefit concert on Friday, May 10 at 7:30pm. A Circle of Friends is a choral and bell choir whose mission is sharing faith in God through Christian and secular music while supporting communities in need. 


In just over 10 years of existence, the group has grown from 15 to over 70 members, and raised $100,000 for charity!



"The key (to our group) is to make sure we are inclusive," said its Creative Director, David English.  Even if it means learning a different language, including Swahili.  English said the group picks a wide range of songs, including selections from the movie The Greatest Showman or from pop groups such as One Direction that were included in last spring's concerts.


Creative Director, David English and Vocal Director, Jen Bowers

The group began with about 15 people in 2008, but has since grown to more than 70. Choir President Colleen Cotherman said it's a relaxed environment, which is very appealing in the breakneck pace of the 21st century.   "First of all, they're friends," Cotherman said. "It's so laid-back. There's no roll-taking. If you have to miss, you're still in the Circle of Friends. You're always welcomed back."


It's also a family affair, according to Jen Bowers, vocal director, "We've got moms, dads, grandkids, aunts, uncles, cousins," Bowers said. The group members' ages range from 17 to 89.


The choral & bell choir is supported by a dedicated instrument ensemble

The group prides itself in never touching the donation funds, English said. Dues alone sustain the choir, and all of the money gathered at shows is given to the chosen charity.  Charities are vetted by the choir before being picked as beneficiaries.  Some of the organizations helped in the past include those that work with suicide prevention, food cupboards and ministries that send children to summer camps. A Circle of Friends has even expanded its reach to aid countries in Asia and Africa.


"It's just so uplifting," Cotherman said. "It moves your heart and spirit to be able to sing or play an instrument, and then when you see it producing for the community ... I mean, God's so good to give us the opportunity to serve Him through this, and then you see people being so generous. You just want to cry, you're so happy."


Proceeds from the concert benefits Calvin Presbyterian Church Annual Youth Group Mission Trip and the charitable Strand Theater.


Friday Only! May 10   7:30pm