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"Music is so uplifting," Gwyn Harris, program director for the City of Rexburg' Thanksgiving Day Celebration, told BYU-Idaho Radio. "I just think that there's just an opportunity for people to feel something special coming to this program."

November 6, 2017
Writer: Sydney Jensen

For more than 35 years, the City of Rexburg has gathered together on Thanksgiving morning for an annual celebration full of music, singing and special performances and this year promises to be another successful program.

"Music is so uplifting," Gwyn Harris, program director for the City of Rexburg' Thanksgiving Day Celebration, told BYU-Idaho Radio. "I just think that there's just an opportunity for people to feel something special coming to this program."

Practice for the performance begins six-weeks before Thanksgiving as singers and musicians prepare for a unique program different than the year before. Gywn Harris says while she's always on the lookout for new music, the choir likes to rotate through songs attendees haven't heard in a decade or two and always make sure to pull in as much local talent as possible. 

"The choir prepares six numbers...we have some guest performers that come, we always like to include an organ soloist," Harris said. "We have one of the first pipe organs in the whole area, still in the tabernacle and so we like to include that as part of the tradition and the heritage of our musical background here in Rexburg."

Harris says the program isn't solely sacred music and this year's line-up will include a small women's ensemble and a bluegrass band. The program, she says, sets the tone for remembering gratitude in the jumble of holidays between October and December.

"I think that sometimes, myself, for example, I think that we think a lot about Halloween and there's a lot of commercialism involved there and then we hop right to Christmas," Harris said. "So, Thanksgiving for some people is eating and football games and that's fine for them, but it's nice to have a little program with some music."

The free event is Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, November 23 at 10 a.m. at the Rexburg Tabernacle.

"It just lasts one hour, so you hurry home and put your turkey in the oven," Harris said.

You can listen to the full interview below.