The 27th Annual Christmas Dinner Show presented by the Bert Coble Singers took place December 18 and 19 in Baird Chapel at Cumberland University campus. CedarStone Bank’s Jennifer Perry is director of the choral group.
“This was our 27th annual event and we were excited to see the friends and loyal patrons that have been a part of this program for many years,” said Perry. “Dr. Coble had a great vision when he originally organized this event, and it is an honor to carry the tradition on again this year,” she continued.
The idea for Christmas dinner show was born when Dr. Coble was a professor at Cumberland University. At that time, the shows raised money for choir tours to recruit new students; now they raise money for some very worthy organizations, like the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society. Said Perry, “We don’t have an exact total of funds raised over the years, but we do know that well over $250,000 has been raised for The American Cancer Society alone.” The event also benefits the Bert Coble Music Scholarship at Cumberland University.
The volunteer choir, who began rehearsals in September, is made up of singers from across Middle Tennessee. Said Perry, “Our vocalists are very talented and they are always excited about presenting a great evening of Christmas songs and carols that will touch on Christmas memories and some more modern tunes that may be surprising.” Both shows were sold out this year.
Jennifer Perry’s work with the Bert Coble Singers is a great example of how CedarStone employees are involved in their communities. An event like the Christmas show is really a year-round effort, and it benefits nonprofit and educational organizations that do a great deal of good for others.
Interview with Jennifer Perry: Simply Involved
How did you become involved with the Bert Coble Singers group?
I was Doc’s student. When he started the community choir, he called and asked if I’d sing with them. I’ve been involved with the group since 1987.
Who inspired your interest in music, especially choir?
I’ve been around music all my life, in my home and in church. My whole family sang in the choir while I was growing up. Mom always played the piano, and my brother played the trumpet. Aside from my family, the two most influential people musically in my life are Ruth Blair, my piano teacher, and Dr. Coble.
What moved you to become director of the Bert Coble Singers?
The group’s efforts support some very deserving organizations: The American Cancer Society, The American Heart Association and The Bert Coble Music Scholarship at Cumberland University. The shows bring the community together for an evening of goodwill, good fellowship, good food and good music. Everyone that comes to one of our dinner shows will leave filled with the Christmas spirit.
Why were those organizations chosen for the fundraising? Do you have a special connection to any of the organizations?
These organizations were established while Dr. Coble was leading the choir, so I can’t speak to why any of these were chosen, except to say that we all know someone who has either directly, or indirectly, been impacted by cancer or heart disease. So any little thing that we can do help raise funds to treat these diseases is very worthwhile. As far as the Bert Coble Music Scholarship at Cumberland, it’s fitting that some of our proceeds help fund this. After all, that’s where the concept for community dinner shows began for our community.
Jennifer Perry is a personal banker at CedarStone’s Lebanon Office.