Get relief from the rush!

Bells of PEACE handbell choir performs during a free holiday mini-concert at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 20, at PEACE Lutheran Church, 828 W. Main St., Grass Valley (near downtown).

Music of handbells and recorders will ring out in a free performance at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 20, at PEACE Lutheran Church, 828 W. Main St., near downtown Grass Valley.

Bells of Peace is our resident handbell choir. Members will play music of the season, including a duet by the Rev. Eileen Smith Le Van and Rebecca DeCourten. A recorder ensemble also will perform.

The Thursday Night Recorder Group, an ensemble of eight musicians, also will perform works from the 1400s through the 1700s.

This performance concludes the 2017 series of free holiday mini-concerts. Every December going back about 25 years, PEACE has offered these free, 30-minute concerts and vespers as a gift to our community – a way for people to pause from the commercial madness and reconnect to the real spirit of Christmas.

No offering will be taken during the concert. If anyone wishes to donate to the Peace Organ Fund, a basket will be available at the back of the church. (Peace has launched a campaign to replace the aging organ in the sanctuary.)

After the mini-concert, the audience is invited to stay for a short prayer service, starting about 5:30 p.m. This ancient tradition, called vespers, follows the uplifting musical format of Holden Evening Prayer. Music includes a beautiful, modern interpretation of “The Magnificat” – or, Mary’s Song.

For more information, call (530) 273-9631.

More about the Recorders

The Thursday Night Recorder Group is a mixture of professional musicians and enthusiastic amateurs, said spokeswoman Ann Merdinger. This ensemble has played together for about five years. Some of the members have been playing together for about 25 years, she said.

“We’re a bunch of friends who love to get together and play,” she added.

Members of the ensemble have been active in teaching recorder to elementary-age children in local schools. They also play during the yearly Medieval Feast celebrated by Seven Hills Middle School in Nevada City. Recorder is a great beginning instrument to teach the basics of music, Merdinger said.

“It’s not to late to learn,” she added. Adults who would like to play are encouraged to contact the group for lessons; write to annemerdinger at g-mail dot com for more information.