Around every July 4, the Liberty County community holds events to honor area soldiers and veterans.
This includes Liberty County Community and Area Mass Choir, a local singing group that, for the last 10 years, has held a concert around Independence Day. This year, there will be two free concerts: at 7 p.m. Saturday at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church and Thursday, July 4, during the farmers market in downtown Hinesville.
“This program started in 2003 to bring music events to Hinesville and Fort Stewart,” Mass Choir conductor Ronald Calhoun said. “We’ve done a patriotic concert every year, and this year we’ll be doing the ‘America: A Pilgrim’s Prayer, a Patriot’s Dream’ as a tribute to the 3rd (Infantry Division) and military families.”
Since its start, the group has done four holiday concerts a year, one each at Easter, the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The group practices every Tuesday two months in advance for these events.
Though the group hasn’t seen an increase in membership, it gains new members every year. The members have developed into a small, close-knit group, united by their love for singing.
Eleanor Hudson, the group’s music coordinator, said there will be at least 25 members performing in the concerts Saturday and Thursday.
“Our conductor, Ronald Calhoun, wanted to do something for the community, so he organized this, and it grew to many, many voices,” Hudson said. “In the last few years, we’ve been down in count, but we’re still going strong as far as doing our concerts, and we like to sing to whoever will listen.”
Though every event at which the group performs has a purpose, members said they find the Fourth of July especially important because of the strong military presence in Liberty County and the surrounding areas.
Calhoun added other reasons supporting the concert’s heightened purpose.
“It’s important because there are not a lot of musical events that take place in Hinesville, so we tried to do something throughout the year that would help promote community morale,” Calhoun said. “It’s also important to recognize the contributions that the military families provide for Hinesville. It’s a way of us showing our support to them and thanking them for their service.”