BY LINDA SCOTT
Christmas songs will fill the air at the Gathering Place, 304 S. State St., during the Holiday Coffee House.
The event, set for Friday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m., is free. Ernie Pappa of Clarks Summit will lead the singing again this year and volunteer his time as a gift to the community.
Refreshments for sale include cider and other drinks for $1 and Christmas cookies, two for $1.
Pappa plays an acoustic electric guitar and leads music in churches throughout the year. Last year, he facilitated sing-a-long events with oldies and classics at senior centers, high rises and other facilities. He has sung in a number of churches for more than 25 years and has directed choirs and singing groups.
“We are run by all volunteers who help with ideas for events and help at events themselves,” said Anne Armezzani, events director for The Gathering Place.
“I pass out a song book to everyone with 55 songs in it that include most Christmas favorites such as ‘Silver Bells,’ ‘White Christmas,’ ‘Winter Wonderland,’ ‘Do You Hear What I Hear’ and ‘Let it Snow,’” said Pappa. “I also sing a Christmas medley that includes many religious songs such as ‘Silent Night,’ ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem,’ ‘The First Noel’ and others, and of course, ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas.’”
Pappa explained what singing Christmas songs and music in general has meant to him:
“I have enjoyed singing Christmas songs since my youth and now to experience others lifting their spirits through music is a great joy for me. Music is the best therapy, especially when people join in song.”
He is married to Maria Pappa and has six children: Kim, Tony, Aaron, Erika, Abra and Rebecca. His grandchildren are: Max, Jonah and Nyha. He also has two Shih Tzus, Shanti and Bailey.
“The wonderful things about music is that it lifts up one’s heart and automatically helps clear away anxiety and negative feelings,” said Pappa. “I am really looking forward to leading song at The Gathering Place and am grateful for the opportunity to share Christmas music in the community in which I live.”