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  Comments (0) Total Saturday Apr. 19, 2014
 
Home for Christmas
COMMUNITY: Bigfork
Home for Christmas, like an old fashioned Andy Williams’ Christmas program. | Courtesy photo
Bigfork is a talented town and many of those talents are on display during the year at the Center for the Performing Arts. The talents range from half a notch off Broadway with the Bigfork Summer Playhouse to a variety of feel-good amateur performances throughout the year. But then there’s that occasional amateur performance that just blows away any clear distinction between amateur and professional. Last year’s Home for Christmas concert, sponsored by Crossroads Christian Fellowship, was one of those.

I spoke with Scott Moore a few days ago. Scott was the producer behind last year’s show and is in charge of the event again this year. “The vision for the show actually came from our senior Pastor, Mel Haug,” Scott told me. “He came to us a little over a year ago from a church in Tri-Cities, Washington. There he’d produced a show of similar concept. Of course he had a budget of about $80,000 and filled the coliseum with paying attendees. We, obviously, had to do something on a more modest scale.”

“Mel told me his vision and I think he was a little surprised when I understood and had some idea how to achieve it.” To those who know Scott, this would be less a surprise. Scott is currently the Worship Pastor at Crossroads, but made his living before that as a professional musician with The Bad Larrys. “The last year I was with the Larrys we did 220 performances. We were finding plenty of work, but I didn’t have time for anything else. Then this opportunity at Crossroads came along.”

Scott talked about last year’s production. “When Mel suggested the concert, we took inventory of the talent we had in our congregation. We had a lot of good solo artists, but no choir experience. We wanted to do something like an Andy Williams Christmas show, which meant that we had to get these solo artists performing together. Mel pretty much gave me the responsibility to put the show together. Comparing it to Andy Williams and even the big-budget shows he’d done in Washington he gave me this advice: ‘Maybe it won’t be the best, but let’s make sure it’s our best.’ I took that to heart and after a few 100-hour weeks, occasionally sleeping at the church when I didn’t make it home, we had a show.”

This year’s show is intended to follow a similar model with a lot of the same performers. “The first half of the concert is secular with songs like ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ and the second half is more sacred with pieces like ‘Joy’ and ‘Oh, Holy Night.’ It’s a compact, one-hour show that’s virtually all music with no talking or script between songs. It’s a fast-paced program intended to thrill the audience and leave them wishing for more.”

I’m not a member and don’t even attend services at Crossroads, but I’ve always liked their slogan: “The perfect church for people who aren’t.” As Scott clarifies the ministry, “We’re just broken people getting together to help each other out. And the show, although sponsored by the church, isn’t intended to be a religious concert. Rather, it’s a community event. We took a donation last year, but all the money collected went to the Bigfork Food Pantry. This year the proceeds will go to Neighbors in Need, a Kalispell social services organization of last resort for the homeless and those of limited income.”

“We want to put on a show so good that people will make it a holiday tradition and feel that they have to go, year after year,” said Scott, in summary. “It’s our gift to Bigfork. We’re not preaching or recruiting. But, hey, if people see us and notice that we’re just normal folks, maybe they’ll visit us.”

Home for Christmas is scheduled for 6 p.m., Dec. 22 and 23, at the Bigfork Center for the Performing Arts. Admission is free and tickets are not required. But come early – the auditorium will fill up.
 
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