Choir director Cary Burns said the 140-member choir will use holiday songs to underscore a theme of togetherness.

Scores of East Valley singers will be featured as the Tempe Community Chorus presents its silver anniversary concert at Mesa Arts Center on Friday.

The concert, titled “One Voice, 1 25th Anniversary Celebration,” is at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults (children under 11 are free) and available from the Mesa Arts Center website or

Choir director Cary Burns said the 140-member choir will use holiday songs to underscore a theme of togetherness.

“The Tempe Community Chorus encourages everyone to tell their stories through song,” Burns said. “The true harmony is in our friendships and the support we have for each other.”

Along with favorite holiday songs such as “The First Noel,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “Dai Diddle Dai,” the chorus will debut Burns’ arrangement of “One Voice,” which tells of the difference “just one voice” can make as others join in.

The chorus’s smaller groups also will perform. Its Mill Street Singers will sing “And So It Goes” and a fun holiday song, and its quartet, Harmony Rain, will also appear.

Featured by the chorus is Mary Sievert, who has been the pianist since 2008. She has sung alto in the Bach and Madrigal Singers, directed numerous handbell choirs, and has accompanied multiple musical productions, singers and instrumentalists over the years.

She was the pianist for Dayspring United Methodist Church in Tempe for 25 years and traveled to Europe four times with its chorale. She continues to enjoy playing for various churches and events in the Valley.

The Tempe Community Chorus focuses on many musical elements as it tries to understand the lyrics and composers’ and arrangers’ choices.

“We work to blend our voices and to sing with passion and think about musical shape and colors and depth,” spokeswoman Judy Wade said. “Our director really encourages all of us think about the quality of our sound and the shape of the line.”

Wade also noted that the choir “is not just a bunch of people singing one melody.”

“It’s four-part harmony, and in the case of this chorus, it even goes to seven-part harmony,” she added. “It’s an indication of a more accomplished musical group, which has to be well-rehearsed to sing that many parts.”

The chorus is always looking for people who want to improve their individual vocal talent and be a member.

Information on its weekly auditions:


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