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Circle of Friends concert celebrates joy of holidays
Written by Lu Stitt   
Wednesday, 12 December 2012 14:04

Not much beats gathering with friends for the holidays.

Twenty-one years ago a few friends gathered for the holidays and put on a small concert in Jerome.

Juggler James Reid, left, returns to the 2012 Circle of Friends Holiday concert in Cottonwood on Sunday, Dec. 16. Reid juggles knives around concert founder John Ziegler’s head during a previous concert.“I went out with a couple of chums, including Dave Rentz, and played to about 200 people, roughly,” said John Ziegler, a local singer and musician. He and his friends formed several musical groups, including Major Lingo. “It’s been a long time we’ve done this, and it gets better and bigger every year.”

The annual Circle of Friends Holiday Concert, a Verde Valley tradition now, gathers folks of all ages for a night of seasonal song, music and cheer. For many years the concert was in the Old Town Cottonwood Civic Center until the walls started bulging with the crowd.

This year’s concert will be the third in the Mingus Union High School Auditorium, which has seating for nearly 1,000 people.

“We’ll have that thousand people coming,” Ziegler said and smiled. “At first when we started at the high school three years ago I was in awe at the space — but we fill it.”

The concert will probably last about one hour, followed with refreshments donated by a local health food store.

“This is so great. We’ll have a cast of thousands — well, maybe dozens — providing music, dance and song for the audience,” Ziegler said.

The choir from Mingus Union High School will perform several holiday pieces. Singers, dancers, instrumentalists, a clogger, a Highlands bagpiper and juggler James Reid are on the list of performers.

“What I’ve seen so far is going to be fabulous,” Ziegler said.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, Dec. 12, edition of The Camp Verde Journal or the Cottonwood Journal Extra.



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