Crofton Prince of Peace choir to join in Vienna's Advent Sing

November 21, 1997|By Kristi E. Swartz | Kristi E. Swartz,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Suzann Barthold doesn't know how her choir at Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church in Crofton got an invitation from the Vienna Tourist Board to perform in that city's International Advent Sing, but she and its members were more than happy to accept.

They are leaving Wednesday for Austria, where they will join more than 1,000 singers from the United States and Europe to perform at churches and concert halls throughout the city during the first weekend of Advent.

The choir will perform a program of American folk hymns, spirituals and contemporary hymns at a senior center, Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna Community Church and Vienna's city hall, said Barthold, the choir director, who spent part of the summer in Vienna making arrangements for the group.

They will join the other choirs to sing the "Ode to Joy" section of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

"This is a big reach for us," Barthold said. "We've never done anything like this before. I can't believe we're doing it."

Although the tourist board asked the choir not to sing Christmas songs, Barthold has slipped "Silent Night" into the program for at least one concert in honor of the composer, Franz Gruber, who was Austrian.

Vienna's Advent celebration, with choir concerts scheduled during the four weekends before Christmas, is in its 15th year.

Barthold received an invitation for her choir in June, and she extended the invitation to other Crofton churches. Nine members of other choirs are going along, she said.

Choir members held sub sales and other fund-raisers throughout the summer to help pay for the trip, according to its business manager Pat Crosby.

To warm up, the choir will perform selections from the programs it has planned for Vienna at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Prince of Peace church, 1657 Crofton Parkway. Admission is free, Crosby said, but listeners are asked to bring non-perishable food to donate to the Crofton Christian Caring Council.

Pub Date: 11/21/97

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