Making music together

By: 
KateLynn Slaamot

Submitted photo

The Ferguson family has been singing together for many years, and they are going to be sharing their gift with the community during the annual Christmas Cantata in the Crouch Auditorium on Sunday, Dec. 12, at 2 p.m. Pictured are Julia, Esther, Joseph and Timothy. 

KateLynn Slaamot

NLJ Reporter

 

When a family works together, it can be a powerful thing. The ties that bind a family together are composed of the strongest material and held together by a love that keeps on growing. For one Newcastle family, making music together has been an important aspect of their lives for many years. 

Jim and Deanna Ferguson, along with their seven children, Anna, Benjamin, Esther, Julia, Timothy, Joseph and Samuel, moved to the area a little over a year ago from Texas and into Newcastle earlier this year. They visited the area a couple years ago during one of their music trips and put on a concert here. 

However, the musical heritage of the family goes back to before Jim and Deanna were married. 

“Jim and I have been singing together since we got married. We actually met singing in a choral group for Christmas. After that, we just continued to sing together. And then, as the children came along and (were) able to sing, they would join us,” Deanna said. 

The family then started traveling over the road about 10 years ago to share their gift with others. The 2011 trip took them from the West Coast to the East Coast, from Oregon to Pennsylvania. That trip lasted for about two months, the longest trip the Fergusons have made for their music. 

They also performed at halftime for a longtime choral group who sang in Pennsylvania (the Salem Singers). 

Since that first trip, the family has taken a number of other shorter trips, one of them being the one that brought them to this area. 

“We went to Stringtown, Oklahoma, every year for four or five years to do their yearly… town celebration,” Julia said. The event was called The Stringtown Annual Good Ole Days.

The local annual Christmas Cantata, to be held Dec. 12 at 2 p.m at the Crouch Auditorium, will also be featuring Deanna and Esther, Julia, Joseph and Samuel as part of the choir, with the latter four also performing as a quartet for the choir. While Jim can’t be part of the cantata due to scheduling conflicts, the family is excited for the cantata because beyond a love of music, Christmas music is very near and dear to their hearts. 

“Specifically, I think for me, I like doing Christmas songs because … Mom and Dad met doing Christmas songs, and
it’s just been kind of this special thing our whole life,” Esther said. 

The family will also be doing a special, in addition to performing Silent Night in German. 

Walter Sprague, director of the Christmas Cantata choir, said he is greatly excited to have the family join the choir. 

“Having the Fergusons in the Christmas cantata has blessed me beyond what I deserve, and definitely beyond what I expected. I love the whole choir,” Sprague said. 

“There’s something that is undefinable when siblings have sung together for years. There is a symbiosis that can’t be duplicated,” Sprague added about the family.

Sprague also said he is excited for the cantata this year and encourages the community to come out and hear music from the choir, the bell choir and a number of specials. 

For the family, beyond the fun of making music and singing together as a family, music holds a deeper meaning to them too. 

“It makes a huge impact for people to see a family working together to accomplish something. It speaks very loud,” Deanna said. 

“And music is a powerful thing; there’s a lot of examples in scripture. … It’s spiritually powerful, it’s emotionally powerful, and it can be used for good and evil as well. It’s something that we’ve done all our lives together, and  … there’s reason to continue,” Jim added. 

The family plans to continue making music together for years to come and share their God-given gifts with others. The group recently did a concert in Newcastle at the Gateway Fellowship Church a few months ago, and they are willing to do more concerts if people voice an interest in having them at their church, event and other venues. 

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