Joyous singing for the holidays

PUTNEY — The River Singers Community Chorus led by Mary Cay Brass is celebrating its 26th anniversary of joyous singing together with two special holiday concerts, Saturday, Dec. 9,  at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 10, at 4 p.m., at Next Stage.

The 90-voice River Singers is a multi-generational chorus known for its eclectic mix of traditional music from many cultural and musical traditions.

Thrilling, soulful songs from Bosnia, South Africa, the Republic of Georgia, Bulgaria, Rwanda, American Folk, rousing African American gospel and for the first time — Lithuania!

Throughout the years the River Singers have hosted many international choirs — The Boys Choir of Kenya, The Christminster Singers and Big Sky Chorus from the UK, the Zedashe Ensemble from the Republic of Georgia, the Bulgarian Pauni Trio, Kitka, the San Francisco-based women's Balkan ensemble. Internationally renowned choral leaders from South Africa,

Georgia, Ghana, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Russia, Albania, to name a few, have done residencies and workshops with the choir adding to their unique repertoire of authentic, lively, earthy sounds. Next spring the choir will focus on the infectious, lively music of Quebec, bringing renowned musicians from the band Genticorum to work with and perform with the

group in May.

The choir celebrated a quarter century of singing together last year with a new "Best of 25 Years" CD with cover art by choir member and local artist Donald Saaf — a cornucopia of songs from many lands — South Africa, the Balkans, the Republic of Georgia, the British Isles, American folk hymns and gospel and much more. The CD will be available at all concerts.

Each and every River Singer concert is a benefit for global peace building.

This year's concert is raising funds for a Village Harmony Peace Building and Music Camp hosted by the Center for Peacebuilding in Bosnia and led by Mary Cay Brass. This is a unique holiday concert not to be missed.

Tickets are $15/$12 students and seniors 65 and over. Tickets sold at the door only. For information visit


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