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Singalong for a good cause

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From left, Carol Swift-Matton, Carla Lehmeier-Tatum and Nicole Maniaci are musicians who will participate in a benefit jam and singalong.

From left, Carol Swift-Matton, Carla Lehmeier-Tatum and Nicole Maniaci are musicians who will participate in a benefit jam and singalong.

A group of New Mexico musicians are inviting the public to join them in a holiday jam and singalong concert this weekend.

“We’re a group of musicians who want to thank New Mexicans for their continued support of the arts and at the same time we want to provide an opportunity to sing holiday favorites,” said cellist Carla Lehmeier-Tatum.

“It’s going to be more of a casual evening. It’s a new initiative for the musicians to include the audience in the music-making.”

The hourlong program will include Christmas carols, selections from Handel’s “Messiah” oratorio and the popular song “White Christmas.”

The 20 performing musicians – about the size of a chamber orchestra – are from Albuquerque and Santa Fe, Lehmeier-Tatum said. They’re members of the New Mexico Philharmonic, the Santa Fe Symphony and other music organizations.

KHFM afternoon host Dana Childs will be emcee.

Lehmeier-Tatum said the free concert has another purpose. It’s a fundraiser. Audience members are being asked to donate money that will go to the funds of the families of 20 firefighters who died last summer battling forest blazes in the Southwest.

Nineteen of those firefighters were members of the Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew of Prescott, Ariz. The other was Capt. Token Adams from the Jemez Ranger District, she said.

“We recognize that the hotshot crew that was killed in Arizona fought to save homes and our forests here in New Mexico,” Lehmeier-Tatum said. “We want their families to know how much we appreciate what they had done for New Mexico and that we are sending support during this holiday season.”

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