by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL
The greater Rockford community is oftentimes recognized for its many quality-of-life advantages such as educational excellence, strong family values, and an all-abiding and ceaseless giving nature. Perhaps the greatest virtue of all is that, first and foremost, Rockford is a community of faith.
The Rockford area is home to 38 vibrant and growing churches of most every denomination. All play an integral part of the excellence we frequently take for granted here in Rockford.
One such church is the First Congregational Church of Rockford, which will break ground this summer to add a Christian Education Building wing adjacent to the sanctuary in downtown Rockford.
Many years of fundraising have brought this dream to reality in 2011. Perhaps the last fundraiser before anticipated construction begins in August will be a performance by the Metropolitan Choir of Praise.
Rockford resident Jessica Kooiman is a member of the Metropolitan Choir and also a member of First Congregational. “I wanted to help raise money for my church’s building addition and immediately thought of bringing the Metropolitan Choir to Rockford,” said Kooiman.
Performing concerts of traditional and contemporary sacred music for the past 48 years, the 60-member choir, representing many churches in and around West Michigan, has performed across the U.S. and around the world. Under the direction of Dr. Mark Taylor, the choir most recently held two concerts at Meijer Gardens this past December.
Kooiman said, “I am really excited about this opportunity and hope anyone who is interested in good choral music will attend. The performance is open to everyone. There is no charge for admission, however a free-will offering will be taken with all proceeds going toward the building fund.”
As an aside, this multitalented and accomplished musician (Kooiman) possesses a beautiful second soprano voice and is also a consummate pianist who offers piano instruction to children using the Suzuki method. She prides herself on teaching children to love music.
This very special evening of music is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Sunday, March 27 at the First Congregational Church of Rockford, located at 192 Bridge Street in downtown Rockford.
For more information, contact the church office at (616) 866-2412 or Kooiman at (616) 866-6427. One can also get a taste of the beautiful voice of the choir by visiting metropolitanchoir.org.