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Choir to perform on grand stage

For the third time in six years, the Festival Choir of First Presbyterian Church in Livingston has been invited to sing in what many consider the nation’s premiere concert hall.

The choir recently learned they were again invited to perform in New York’s Carnegie Hall. On Nov. 26 the choir will join others from around the country in a performance of the Christmas portion of Handel’s oratorio MESSIAH. The choir will join the New England Symphonic Ensemble under the baton of Maestro John Rutter.

This year, the group is inviting the public to join them. A special meeting is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 5 at 2 p.m. in the Chaney Fellowship Hall at First Presbyterian Church in Livingston for anyone interested in joining the group.

Choirmaster John Brown said they would use the meeting to hammer out some of the details of the trip.

“We will just be talking about some of the basics,” Brown said. “We will talk about when we will leave, what we will do when we get there and things like that. We will talk about our schedule and how we plan to cram in as many Broadway shows as we can.”

The group, which performed in 2001 and 2003, plans to depart on Nov. 22, which will put them in town for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Brown said they encourage people to attend the Sunday meeting and make plans to join them for the trip.

The first two trips, Brown said, were fun and interesting. This trip, should be more of the same.

“We try to visit all the sites we can,” Brown said. “We have people going to Fifth Avenue to shop, they go to museums, and the last time we were there, we even took a trip to Ground Zero.”

At night, Brown said they normally get together and attend Broadway shows. The trip, Brown said, does not require everyone to attend the same show. Each member is welcome to see any show they choose.

Seeing Broadway performances, Brown said, was definitely a highlight of the trip. But, the biggest thrill of all comes when their own choir takes the stage.

“The first time we went I was up on stage with the group,” Brown said. “The second time, I sat in the audience. It was just amazing to see 40 young people from Sumter County up there on the stage at Carnegie Hall.”

Sunday’s meeting is open to the public. For more information, contact Brown at (205) 392-4767 or Business Manager Suzanne McGahey at (205) 652-9363.