"God and Country" was the theme of a concert staged by the Columbia County Choral Society last Friday evening to honor America's military and emergency first responders.
The concert at Stevens Creek Community Church offered free admission to first responders - police, firefighters, military, emergency medical technicians, Red Cross volunteers and others - and featured such patriotic standards as The Battle Hymn of the Republic, God Bless America, God Bless the U.S.A., and many more.
"I think shows like this are important for a couple of reasons," said concert-goer John Hooper, a 54-year-old native of Beech Island, S.C., who served as an aviation crew chief in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. "It honors the veterans who risked their lives for their country and it helps us to remember those who died defending it."
Special guest performances at the concert were presented by the handbell choir of First Baptist Church of Augusta - who performed a moving rendition of the national anthem - and the brass ensemble of the First Baptist Church of North Augusta.
"We do a fall concert every year, which is usually themed around the holidays," said Jacque Kearns, executive director of the Columbia County Choral Society. "Following the attacks from Sept. 11 and all that the country has been through since then, I just felt like it was a good time to remember all the people who put their lives on the line to protect us."
The concert featured many arrangements that allowed for moments of spoken-word performances, musical interludes and rousing choral performances.
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