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United Christian Parish To Dedicate New Building With Concert

The world premiere of a choral piece written for the dedication of the new United Christian Parish sanctuary will take place at a concert on Friday, May 25, at 7:30 p.m. at the church located at 11508 North Shore Drive, Reston. The concert is free and the public is invited.

The theme of the concert is "How Can I Keep From Singing: Songs of Rejoicing and Lamentation." The commissioned work was written by Melissa Bergstrom, of Maple Grove, Minn., who was the winner in a contest run by the church. A college music teacher, Bergstrom, 35, was chosen from 55 young composers from five continents who entered the contest. She will be present at the concert. Her work is based on two texts: the words of the hymn "Christ is Made the Sure Foundation" and the United Christian Parish dedication motto, "Behold, God has Done a New Thing."

Singers from the United Christian Parish, St. Anne's Episcopal Church, and the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston, as well as soloists from the University of Maryland will participate in the concert, singing Bergstrom's piece and several other choral works. The builder of the church's new, custom-made organ, Warren Hood, will play a solo organ work. The second half of the concert will feature the "Requiem" by Gabriel Faure, performed in English by the combined choirs and a professional orchestra and conducted by United Christian Parish Choir Director Dusty Francis.

The United Christian Parish is an ecumenical church uniting four denominations: United Methodist, Presbyterian Church (USA), United Church of Christ, and Christian Church (DIsciples of Christ). For more information, call the church office at 703-620-3065 or visit www.unitedchristianparish.org.