Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Nature Coast Festival Singers plan Christmas concerts, 'Messiah' community sing

WEEKI WACHEE — Alexis Pletincks has always loved to sing.

Her father, David, oversees the vocal and instrumental music program at Powell Middle School in Spring Hill, and she sang with the school's choir. When David Pletincks spearheaded the Nature Coast Children's Chorale, she began performing with that group as well.

That experience has allowed Alexis to tackle difficult classical pieces at community concerts. Now 17 and a senior at Weeki Wachee High School, her efforts are paying off. Just last month, she came second in the state at the Florida Music Educators Association All-State Clinic-Conference. She was the only female alto in the state to have a perfect sight-reading score; in January, she will perform at the All-State Choirs event in Tampa.

Local residents will have a chance to hear Alexis sing Sunday when she performs at the Nature Coast Festival Singers Christmas Concert at Nativity Lutheran Church. The concert is the first of three scheduled for the next few weekends.

"I enjoy having a chance to perform a solo experience," Alexis said. "I don't often get a chance to do classical pieces."

The young alto will sing O Holy Night. She will also perform on the French horn with a brass ensemble, which includes her father on trumpet. There will also be another trumpet, a trombone, a tuba and percussion.

Although billed as the Barb Reeck Memorial Scholarship recipient by the Festival Singers, Alexis is no stranger to the community choir. She first performed with the Festival Singers when she was in the seventh grade, during a concert with the Nature Coast Children's Choir. Since then, she has been awarded several scholarships by the group.

"Alexis is extremely talented," said Liesl King, publicity chairwoman for the Festival Singers. "She picked it up and sang it flawlessly her first try. … She's got all kinds of talent."

The Nature Coast Festival Singers have been presenting their holiday concert for nearly 20 years. The chorus has about 70 singers under the direction of Jim Urbansky, with accompanist Kathy Hackemer.

While past concerts focused on the Christmas songs from Handel's Messiah, this year promises something different. In fact, all but one song will be by other composers.

Songs include old favorites such as O Come, O Come Emmanuel by Jeremy Silverman, John Rutter's Candlelight Choir and Gwyneth Walker's Alpha and Omega. Soloist Janice Beamer from the University of South Florida will perform William Everett's I Saw Three Ships.

"The only piece of the Messiah will be the Hallelujah chorus," King said. "There will be a real different series of music this year."

Fans of Messiah will still be in for a treat, King promises.

The Festival Singers will host the "George Frideric Handel's Messiah — Community Sing" Dec. 16 at Trinity Presbyterian Church in New Port Richey.

Anyone wanting to sing with the group can still sign up, King said. She said calls have been coming in from interested individuals throughout the Tampa Bay area.

"We wanted to offer the Messiah as a separate piece, as a way to bring the community together," King said.

Proceeds from that concert will benefit the Vets 4 Warriors charity, which offers confidential military support by veterans.

King said the chorus has had to learn a lot of new songs for its concerts this year. In particular, Alpha and Omega has proven to be a "major undertaking," she said.

"But everything is coming along great. … We're excited."

>>if you go

Nature Coast Festival Singers events

What: Christmas Concert

When and where: 3 p.m. Sunday at Nativity Lutheran Church, 6363 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee; 3 p.m. Dec. 2 at Christ Lutheran Church, 475 North Ave. W, Brooksville; and 3 p.m. Dec. 9 at First United Methodist Church, 13123 U.S. 19, Hudson.

Cost: Admission is free; an offering will be collected for the group's scholarship fund.

Also: The Festival Singers will host "George Frideric Handel's Messiah — Community Sing" at 3 p.m. Dec. 16 at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 4651 Little Road, New Port Richey. To get information or sign up to participate, call (352) 515-5335 or (352) 556-8549 or email naturecoastfestivalmusic@

Nature Coast Festival Singers plan Christmas concerts, 'Messiah' community sing 11/22/12 [Last modified: Thursday, November 22, 2012 6:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. FHP seeks semitrailer truck driver that left fiery wreck on I-75


    TAMPA — The Florida Highway Patrol is looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an Interstate 75 crash that left another car burning on Tuesday afternoon.

    Troopers were looking for the driver of a semitrailer truck that sped off from an accident scene on Interstate 75 in Tampa on Tuesday afternoon that caused a car to catch fire. [Courtesy of Florida Highway Patrol]
  2. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the standing ovation from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute seemed proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.
  3. Three-hour police standoff ends, thanks to a cigarette


    TAMPA — A man threatening to harm himself was arrested by Tampa police on Tuesday after a three-hour standoff.

  4. Jones: Rays' Kevin Cash doesn't mind following in Joe Maddon's steps

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — On this particular night, he's the other guy. He's like a talk-show guest scooted to the end of the couch. He is Kevin Cash. And the Rays manager is standing in the home dugout at Tropicana Field.

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 17: Manager Kevin Cash (L) of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts to action during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on September 17, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images) 700012494
  5. 7.1 magnitude quake kills at least 139, collapses buildings in Mexico


    MEXICO CITY — A magnitude 7.1 earthquake stunned central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 139 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped.

    A woman is lifted on a stretcher from of a building that collapsed during an earthquake in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. [Rebecca Blackwell | Associated Press]