USC Aiken Choir Joins Community to Celebrate the Season, Benefit ACTS

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AIKEN, SC (11/02/2018) The University of South Carolina Aiken joins community musical groups for the sixth annual Harvest Home concert, Sunday, Nov. 11, at 4 p.m., at St. John's United Methodist Church, located at 104 Newberry Street NW, in Aiken, S.C.

Admission is free, but attendees are asked to bring a non-perishable food item in lieu of the admission cost. A goodwill offering to benefit ACTS will be taken during the concert.

"The arts have a responsibility to serve," said Dr. Joel Scraper, the chairman of the visual and performing arts department on campus.

"If we, as artists, can raise awareness of charitable organizations, such as ACTS, and help these organizations provide to those in need, then it is a worthy endeavor."

The Harvest Home concert features a collection of American hymns and folk songs celebrating Thanksgiving. The program features the USC Aiken Concert Choir, directed by Scraper.

Other groups participating in Harvest Home include the Aiken Civic Orchestra, Adam DePriest conducting; Bound to Sing Boys' Choir, Christopher Leysath, conducting; Masterworks Festival Chorus; and St. John's United Methodist Church Chancel Choir, Catherine Stapleton Nance, conductor.

"I look forward to sharing the program with these talented conductors and performers," Scraper said. "It should be a wonderful event, performing traditional music that everyone can enjoy."

ACTS - or Area Churches Together Serving - is a non-profit organization made up of churches, organizations and individuals who provide assistance to families in the community. Longstanding services provided to neighbors in need include food, clothing, utility and medical assistance, housewares and furniture. The organization now offers childcare and transportation programs as well.

"Many people in our area are within one paycheck or less of financial trouble. Many need food, clothing, warmth, prescription medicine, home furnishings, or additional assistance," according to the ACTS website.

"ACTS mission is to partner with churches, organizations, and individuals to provide assistance to our neighbors in need, in the name of Jesus Christ," said Suzanne Jackson, executive director.

"ACTS is grateful for Dr. Scraper, USC Aiken and the other groups who are sharing their extraordinary talents during the Harvest Home concert. ACTS thanks the artists and community for coming together to enjoy a performance that benefits our mission of helping those in need."

In addition to the university and other generous individuals and organizations, the Rotary Club of Aiken gave a sizeable grant, which helps offset the production costs of the Harvest Home concert so that all proceeds can go straight to ACTS and their community efforts.