Niles Area Community Orchestra to host free Christmas concert Dec. 9

Published 10:11 am Friday, November 30, 2018

NILES — The Niles Area Community Orchestra is inviting residents to come and sing along to a number of Christmas classics, as the group performs its seventh annual Holiday concert.

The concert is free and open to the public and will take place at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at the Niles District Library. Those who attend are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the Niles Salvation Army.

Conductor Valerie Rumpf said giving back to the community through the orchestra’s concert has always been an important part of its mission. 

“We know that [the Niles Salvation Army] helps a lot of people, and we like to be part of that,” Rumpf said.

In return, community members who attend the concert will get to share in the gift of music. Rumpf said the concert will include a number of Christmas classics, like “Frosty the Snowman,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and “Jingle Bells.” She said the orchestra selects songs that the audience can sing along to.

Throughout the year, the Niles Area Community Orchestra hosts several free concerts. The Christmas concert is one of the most popular, drawing up to 200 people to attend. Each year, Rumpf said the concert continues to grow.

“It’s a chance to enjoy some music and meet other people in the community,” Rumpf said. “There have been a lot of friendships that have grown from people just coming to the concerts.”

The Niles Area Community Orchestra consists of approximately 35 members from across Michiana, who share a passion for music. The musicians got their start playing as the New Apostolic Church Orchestra. From there, the orchestra continued to grow and attract musicians across Berrien and Cass counties.

“They enjoy playing and they do a fantastic job,” Rumpf said. “They are so devoted, and it is great to work with each and every one of them.”

Rumpf said she loves to see how music unites the surrounding communities through the area orchestra.

“Not a lot of small towns can say they have an orchestra,” Rumpf said. “Because it is community based, it brings people from Edwardsburg, Buchanan, St. Joseph, South Bend, Granger and Elkhart. It brings the communities together and it’s something they can be proud of.”

New musicians are always welcome to join the orchestra, Rumpf said. Those interested in learning more about the musical group can visit