Choir's mini-tour is a 'thank you'

NEIGHBORS

January 13, 1998|By Nancy Gallant | Nancy Gallant,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MANY OF us begin Sunday mornings with a church service. But last week, one group attended four services at three churches. The Prince of Peace Ecumenical Touring Choir performed at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Community United Methodist Church and Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church. At each service, the choir sang a "thank you" for the support those congregations had shown during the group's recent concert tour.

From Nov. 27 through Dec. 1 the choir visited Austria to participate in the internationally known Vienna Advent Sing. As part of the festival, the group performed Christmas music at palaces and convalescent homes.

Directed by Suzann Barthold, the choir members spent months practicing and organizing for the trip. Just before leaving, they presented a farewell performance to a standing room only audience at Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church.

The day before Thanksgiving, they flew from Dulles-Washington International Airport to Vienna on what turned out to be a wonderful adventure. The music, the city, the people it was an experience the choir members won't soon forget.

The choir members who sang in Vienna were Norma Talbert, Carlene Craytor, Gary and Betsy Wolford, Bill McWhirter, Karen and Jon Kasner, Ruth Hakulin, Jean Fries, Penny Courtney, Jake and Mary Ann Folk, Suzann and Gred Barthold, Benay Bodrog-Dunn, Pat Crosby, Stephanie Jamieson, Lynn Alfano, Tess Glace, Martha Howe, Elaine Bartow, John Gimperling, Dave Beebe, Betsy Kipila, Elizabeth Bennett, Jessica Bennett, Daryl Bartow, Steven Barthold, Stephanie Fries, John Fregger, David Fries, Cheryl Melhorn and Joanna Cich.

Besides enjoying the culture of Vienna, the singers got to meet other singers from around the world. One evening, the choir dined in a wine garden, and the Crofton group filled up half a large room. The other half was filled by a high school choir from Georgia. As the meal went on, the two groups started a friendly competition. One group would start a song. Then, the second group would come back with another. Back and forth, the music flew, two choirs from the United States, singing together, almost halfway around the world.

Mission trip to Guyana

Another group is planning an international trip. Seven members of Crofton's Community United Methodist Church will leave late next month for a two-week mission trip to Guyana.

Margaret Holmes, Mike Elliott, Joyce Mateny, Fern Frye, Emily Frye, Barbara French and Judy Kelly have been preparing since last summer for this, the first time a United Methodist Church mission team has gone to Guyana.

Originally, the group had planned to work in Montserrat. But volcanic eruptions there forced a change in plans. After looking into other areas of need, the group chose a work site in Guyana.

Pub Date: 1/13/98

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