November 27 at 11:05pm

Making beautiful music together

For years, Cathy and Justin Gray have melded their musical talents. Cathy’s instrumental (violin) and coordinating abilities combine with Justin’s gifts of arrangement, conducting, and more to create productions greater than the sum of their parts.

Such will be the case Dec. 4, when the San Diego Interfaith Choir and Orchestra will present two performances of a holiday concert to benefit Interfaith Community Services.

The program will feature Christmas carols, songs of Hanukkah and other Jewish traditions, plus a Kwanzaa number, said Justin Gray, chairman of the ensemble. The date of the concert was moved so that it would take place during Hanukkah. The Grays collaborated to choose the music for the program.

The couple worked together to form the interfaith ensemble about two years ago. Cathy, who wears many hats as vice chairwoman, first violinist, and concertmaster, procures the best musicians she can find to participate in the orchestra. Justin then comes up with a vision for each concert and rehearses the orchestra and choir to produce the finished product.

The musicians hail primarily from North County and are selected by audition. Community members are invited to participate in the concert choir for this show. Those wishing to do so must be available for evening rehearsals Dec. 2 and Dec. 3, as well as for the performances the next day.

Helping to raise money for Interfaith Community Services helps attract people to the ensemble, notes Cathy Gray.

“Our focus is to raise money to help people,” she said. “The instrumental musicians have been blessed and want to give back to the community. Our vision together is to give a little time to help.”

The concerts will be held at 6 and 8 p.m. Dec. 4 at First United Methodist Church, 341 S. Kalmia St. in Escondido. Tickets are $10 for adults, through Nov. 30, and $5 for children under 12. After that, adult tickets increase to $15. They can be purchased at

Justin’s goal is to raise $5,000 for Interfaith Community Services. Donations are welcome to help underwrite costs of the concert, including music, and can also be made through the website.

Come and join the Grays, the orchestra, chamber choir, concert choir as they — and you — make beautiful music together.