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Patriotic concert, market act in harmony
Donna Pearson
The Liberty County Community and Area Mass Choir performs patriotic music Thursday in Bradwell Park. - photo by Photo by Randy C. Murray

Thursday’s Farmers Market at Bradwell Park included live entertainment of the patriotic variety. It was just the start of patriotic observances leading to Independence Day on Thursday.
The Liberty County Community and Area Mass Choir conducted a patriotic concert, “The Home of the Brave,” which was the first of a series of Mass Choir presentations last week. Vicki Davis, executive director of the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority and choir member, said the community choir also had concerts Saturday at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Hinesville and at Jesup Presbyterian Church.
As the concert time neared Thursday, storm clouds gathered and threatened to drown out the concert before it could begin. Choir director Ronald Calhoun worked hurriedly with the sound system as he responded to questions about the performance.
“In this particular concert, we’ll have about 45 singers,” said Calhoun, who noted that assistant director Donna Pearson was conducting the performance. “We’ve had 200-250 singers with the choir since we started it in 2003.”
Calhoun said the choir was formed by volunteers who just love to sing. They conduct concerts throughout the year for special activities in the community.
By the time the performance began, dark skies hovered over downtown Hinesville, and occasional droplets of rain fell on those who gathered to hear the concert. No one seemed to mind. The distant rumblings of thunder even seemed like part of the background music.
Some stayed through the entire 50-minute performance, though many stayed a while then went back to produce shopping or went home with the produce they were carrying. A few shoppers also carried Styrofoam boxes with barbecue by Sho ’Nuff Good BBQ.
Parents with children nodded their heads in approval during patriotic classics like “America the Beautiful” and “Yankee Doodle.” The children stood or sat by their parents and listened to the performance without resisting.
Other patriotic observances are planned around the area this week, including Fort Stewart’s “Salute to the Nation” at 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Cottrell Field. The ceremony will include a cannon salute, patriotic selections by the 3rd Infantry Division band and fireworks.
Davis said Thursday’s market also was “sampler” day, in which farmers and merchants were encouraged to provide small samples of their produce or products. Tables held bowls of sliced watermelon, tiny cups of spicy salsa, chunks of fresh bread and spoon-size samples of local honey.
Club Stewart business manager and chef Nino Bassaro and catering-sales coordinating manager Martha Jackson prepared a gourmet dish made from garlic, onions, red peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and zucchini. Bassaro sliced and diced the veggies, and Jackson cooked them up in a stir-fry skillet.
First individuals then small groups gathered to see what they were doing to produce the aroma.
An advertising flyer they were distributing hinted strongly of the upcoming July 4 holiday. Jackson said a special barbecue chicken and ribs package is available through their catering service, but not on the holiday itself as the club will be closed Thursday.
Call 368-2212 for more information.

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