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Free concert Sept. 16. at Old Salem Church
It's been a long time since a service was held there, but a chorus of voices will echo again within Spotsylvania's Old Salem Church next Sunday.
At 2 p.m. Sept. 16, JoySong Chorale will perform and direct a "hymn-sing" at the historic sanctuary around which a battle raged in May 1863. The church, off State Route 3, is part of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
JoySong Chorale is the voice of JoySong Ministries, a nonprofit group that brings music (voice or harp) to the bedsides of people in private homes and medical facilities to alleviate pain and stress for patients and families. Its director is Linda Harrison Long, a harpist.
"The joy that these men and women bring speaks to listeners on an individual basis," said Spotsylvania County resident Carolyn Elstner, a local sponsor of the group. "Whatever personal needs of the present moment lie within any audience member, either comfort or cheer can be found in the music."
Sunday's program is free, but because seating in the small church is limited, pre-registration is required. To reserve your seat, call 540/ 786-3238 or email melstner @aol.com.
The group has a vast repertoire of spiritual songs and hymns. It has performed several times at Ellwood Manor, a historic home that welcomes visitors to the Wilderness battlefield.
In a nod to Salem Church's past, the music performed will date from 1845, the year of the church's founding, to 1865, the end of the Civil War. Most of the hymns will be familiar, intended for congregations.
A brief history of the church will be part of the program.