By Kathy Collins

The Thank God It’s Variety Concert Series presented by the United Methodist Church of Sun City Center (UMCSCC) has some wonderful music, including festive holiday music, coming up during the months of November and December. Be sure to mark your calendars.

On Friday, November 16 at 7 p.m., UMCSCC will present Stacey Knights and the Forecast Benefit Concert. Jeff Jordan, director of Worship Arts for UMCSCC said, “This concert is sponsored by Kiwanis in association with UNICEF. The proceeds from this special benefit concert by one of Tampa’s favorite performers will go to The Eliminate Project, a world-wide effort to eliminate maternal and neo-natal tetanus [MNT]. In third world countries, MNT claims tens of thousands of lives each year.” The cost to attend is $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

Next, on Monday, November 16 at 7 p.m., you can hear the South Shore Concert Band which will kick off its season with From Bond to Blue Eyes. The program will include arrangements of music from several James Bond films, some Frank Sinatra favorites, songs from Michael Jackson, and even some toe-tapping tunes with a Latin beat. The cost to attend is $5.

On Friday, November 20 at 7 p.m., you can see James McDuffy and John Davis. Jordan said, “This concert showcases a perennial favorite gospel singer, James McDuffy, who returns to Sun City Center. This time he is accompanied by virtuoso pianist, John Davis. The evening will feature many great gospel classics and passionate testimony.” The cost to attend is $5.

On Thursday, December 10 at 7 p.m., the Eastern Hillsborough Community Band will present their Christmas Concert. This local 60 plus piece band will start its season with Say It With Music, a holiday concert featuring a combination of popular selections and Christmas music, including Hanukkah Celebration, Christmas Portrait and A Most Wonderful Christmas. Cost to attend is $5. For more information on this concert, call 569-1771.

Next, on Sunday, December 13, the 65-voice Chancel Choir at UMCSCC, along with a 10-piece professional instrumental ensemble and narrator will present Joel Raney’s Sing with the Angels. The Annual Christmas Choral Cantata will be offered 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Jordan said, “This new cantata by one of the finest composers/arrangers working today is a beautiful melding of familiar Christmas hymns and carols and exciting original music.”

UMCSCC will present The Sights and Sounds of Christmas on Wednesday, December 16 at 6:30 p.m. Jordan said, “You can enjoy music presented by our many musical ensembles and soloists including our children and youth as well as members of our Hispanic congregation. The musical presentation will lead to a dramatic presentation by Senior Pastor Charlie Rentz, and will be followed by hot chocolate and cookies in the Life Enrichment Center where there will be more Christmas music offered by our contemporary praise team. This is a free evening of entertainment, but space is limited. Free tickets may be picked up starting Sunday, November 22 on the church patio and during the week thereafter in the church office.”

On Friday, December 18 at 7 p.m., you can see and hear Christmas with the Celts. Cost to attend is a $5 donation at the door. Jordan explained, “Marcille Wallis (hammered dulcimer) and friends on guitar, fiddle, flute, mandolin, pennywhistle and Irish dancer will celebrate 16 years of high-energy holiday-themed music and dance with its annual concert at UMCSCC. This traditional Celtic ensemble performs from Florida to Maine and features Matt Miller, winner of many fiddle competitions including, and Kate Valley champion Irish dancers.”

Finally, on Thursday, December 24, UMCSCC will celebrate Christmas Eve with a contemporary service at 4 p.m. and traditional services at 6 and 8 p.m. All will feature familiar Christmas music, and a candlelit rendition of Silent Night. The contemporary service is led musically by the worship band, and the traditional services feature the Chancel Choir and Handbell ensembles.

For more information, visit www,umcscc.org or call 634-2539.