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Annual concert showcases city’s cultural diversity

Event brings churches together

POSTED: November 28, 2013 1:00 a.m.

Gainesville First United Methodist Church is hosting its 17th annual Christmas is One Language concert this Sunday.

The event, which is coordinated in conjunction with the Gainesville Multicultural Committee, aims to bring the local community together by showcasing the different cultural celebrations of the holidays.

“The point is to bring us all together,” the church’s Director of Music John LaForge said. “We all look forward to the traditions we have with our families and churches, and that is great, but when you have the opportunity to come together and people of different cultures can all celebrate at one time, it is really special.”

Christmas is One Language is free and open to the public, and takes place at 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church located at 2780 Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville.

First United Methodist expects between 600 and 650 people to attend the concert, which consists of local handbell musicians, choirs, bluegrass bands, mariachi bands and Mexican dance groups.

The multicultural committee and the church have been planning Christmas is One Language since the early summer. A great deal of effort is required to coordinate, garner support from local businesses and ensure there is as much diversity as possible represented at the concert, LaForge said.

Following the concert is the International Food Reception, which brings together dishes and appetizers from different cultures and parts of the world. The Believers Jazz Band Ensemble will play during the reception.


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