FORT MYERS, Fla. (November 24, 2008) — The Village Church at Shell Point Retirement Community will present a Christmas Celebration with The Village Church Choir and special guest artist Ken Medema, singer, pianist and composer. This concert will be held on Sunday, December 14, at 6:15pm, and is part of the 2008-2009 Season of Praise Concert Series.
Festive carols and improvised songs will lead all the way to Bethlehem, as gifted writer, singer and composer Ken Medema, along with the 75+ voices of The Village Church Choir, share in this annual Christmas Concert Celebration. “This particular concert will enhance the holiday season for all who plan to attend,” says Pastor Woods, Minister of Worship & Music. “The Village Church Choir, and special guest Ken Medema, will be a wonderful musical combination as they present Medema’s unique musical settings as featured on his recording ALL THE WAY TO BETHLEHEM.”
Ken Medema was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1942, has been unable to see with his physical eyes. “As a kid I was not widely accepted,” he says, “and I spent a lot of time by myself. Because I have lived with some degree of being different all my life, I have some sympathy for people who have been disenfranchised.”
“I started banging on the piano when I was five years old,” he says, “making up crazy little fantasies on my mom’s piano. When I was eight years old my parents got me a wonderful teacher who taught me the classics with Braille music and taught me to play by ear. And every time I learned a piece my teacher would tell me, ‘Now you improvise.’ So music became a second language.”
Medema earned a master’s degree in music therapy from Michigan State University and worked for several years as a musical therapist. While employed as a musical therapist, he began writing songs about his patients’ lives, and they responded enthusiastically. In 1973 Medema began a career as a performing and recording artist, recording albums for Word and Shawnee Press.
In 1985 he founded Brier Patch Music, an independent recording, publishing, and performance-booking company with headquarters in Grandville, Michigan. Brier Patch creates musical expressions that celebrate all aspects of the human experience, with an emphasis on spirituality and such universal concerns as peace, justice, hunger, homelessness, and the environment.
Today Medema performs in a wide variety of venues from worship services to inspirational concerts, to corporate conventions, to high school and university campuses, to major youth gatherings, to annual assemblies of national organizations. Tickets are available for purchase and are $10 each. To purchase tickets or receive additional information about this concert or others in the 2008-2009 Season of Praise Concert Series, please call (239) 454-2147 or go to http://www.shellpoint.org/villagechurch/events.htm .
The Village Church at Shell Point is a ministry of the Christian and Missionary Alliance and serves a congregation of more than 600. The Village Church is located near the entrance to the Island at Shell Point and seats 1,000 people. Shell Point Retirement Community is a continuing care retirement community located in Fort Myers just off Summerlin Road, two miles before the Sanibel causeway. Shell Point is a nationally recognized leader in the retirement industry.