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Final year for ALBs concert

ALBs concert founder Rev. Arlen Foss (top) and Louise Wickstrom, keyboardist (bottom), are ready for the 16th annual ALB’s Concert. (Erin Trester/Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON — A 16-year Worthington tradition is coming to an end this year.

The ALBs Christmas concert, which raises money for the Nobles County Christmas basket program, will take place for the final time at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center.

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“It’s time for some new blood,” said the Rev. Arlen Foss, a founding member of the ensemble.

Keyboardist Louise Wickstrom, who puts the “L” in ALBs, reflected on the past 16 years with the group.

“It’s really bittersweet,” she said. “I have a lot of fond memories, and I got to work with some really neat people.”

More than 35 acts will entertain – instrumentally, vocally or with a reading. Foss will continue to lead the ALBs alongside Wickstrom, vocalist Kris Besel, percussionist Steve Lynn and bassist Axel Wass.

The theme for this year is “The God Who Comes at Christmas.”

“The greatest week in history is when God walked on our earth and Christmas is the celebration of that coming,” Foss explained.

The show entertained more than 600 people last year, and the plan this time around is to do the same. Music will vary from “Mary, Did You Know” to John Denver’s “Cowboy Christmas,” and as always conclude with “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

The event raised nearly $3,500 for the Community Christmas Basket program in 2012, and an even bigger total is hoped for this year.

“The goal every year is to raise money for the Christmas baskets,” Wickstrom said. “I’m so grateful to the public who have supported us all these years and for their generous contribution to the baskets.”

While this is the group’s final year, it is hoping to pass the torch to any group or organization who would like to take over.

“I would absolutely help out any organization get off the ground and show them the ropes,” said Foss. “We’re all getting older, and it’s just time for someone new to take over.”

The 16th annual ALBs concert - “The God Who Comes at Christmas” – will take place at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Memorial Auditorium, 714 13th St., Worthington. There is no admission fee and no reserved seating. A free-will offering, 100 percent of which will benefit the Nobles County Community Christmas Baskets program, will be taken.

Anyone interested in continuing the concert next year may contact Foss at 376-9070.

Erin Trester
Erin Trester is the crime and city reporter for the Daily Globe. She's a native of Lewiston, MN, but moved to Buffalo, NY to attend college and obtained her bachelor's degree in Communications. She started at the Western New York Catholic Newspaper as a reporter in Buffalo, but in October 2013 she returned to her home state to start with the Daily Globe. Most of her spare time is taken up by her 13-year-old thoroughbred named Faith, but some of her other hobbies include reading, fishing and spending time with friends and family. 
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