WARREN, NJ - Nothing can boost your holiday spirit like the lively sound of a big brass band and caroling.  The Christmas Band will return to Pilgrim Congregational Church’s sanctuary on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 6:30 p.m. A joyous annual tradition for the church during Advent, the musicians will play favorite songs and carols of the Christmas season under the leadership of church member, Paul Gomperz. 

The Christmas Band has made Pilgrim Congregational Church their home during the Christmas season.  The members of the band come from a wide range of musical backgrounds.  Many are professional musicians, some are amateurs and students, but enthusiasm and good musicianship are the principal criteria. The band comprises between 25 and 30 players. Gomperz, the conductor since 1981, shares conducting duties with the church’s music director, Tom Paster. 

Brass in Black, the talented ensemble from Watchung Hills Regional High School, will also return to play popular Christmas melodies.  Playing their own musical numbers under conductor Bonnie Burgdorf, as well as being a wonderful addition to the Christmas Band, the church is delighted to have them perform again.  Also returning on French horn is Andrew Helgeson, a member of Pilgrim Church and a graduate of the high school and band, who is currently attending the University of New Jersey.

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Everyone is invited downstairs after the concert for dessert.

The public is invited to attend.  There is no charge for the program, but goodwill donations are gladly accepted.  No reservations are needed for the concert.  The church is located at 105 Mountainview Road in Warren.  For further information and directions, please call the church office at 908-903-0929 or visit the church’s website at www.pilgrimcongregationalchurch.org.

Pilgrim Church continues its celebration of Christmas with three special services. On Sunday, Dec. 22, the church will hold its traditional Christmas Sunday worship at 10:30 a.m.  The sanctuary will be beautifully decorated with poinsettias and the Chancel Choir will set the vaulted ceiling ringing with joyous music.  Each child in attendance will receive a poinsettia. The Reverend Virginia Scott, senior minister, will deliver the morning message.  Her topic will be “Expecting the Unexpected.”

On Christmas Eve, Pilgrim Church continues its celebration of Christ’s birth with the Children’s Service at 5 p.m. in the sanctuary. Rev. Scott will have a special Christmas children’s sermon for the youngsters. 

At 10 p.m. Pilgrim Church will hold its most moving service of the year, the Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols.  The service includes the reading of the Christmas story, the singing of favorite carols and the melodious strains of a string quartet, all leading up to the lighting of candles.