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Williamsport Civic Chorus To Present Free Concert

The Williamsport Civic Chorus slated to go on a concert tour of Ireland on June 28, will have a concert previewing some of the music they will be singing on that tour, when they present a free concert on Monday, June 24 at 7 p.m. at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Williamsport. Four concerts are

The Williamsport Civic Chorus slated to go on a concert tour of Ireland on June 28, will have a concert previewing some of the music they will be singing on that tour, when they present a free concert on Monday, June 24 at 7 p.m. at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Williamsport.

Four concerts are scheduled on the tour; each planned to take place in some of the most breathtaking venues to be found in Ireland. Their first concert is in Galway, at St. Nicholas Collegiate Church, they will be performing a selection of American choral classics by composers as varied as Moses Hogan, Aaron Copland, and their own director, Michael Connor. Next, they will travel to Cork, where they will serenade visitors to St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, a major tourist destination. The final two concerts will take place in the capital city of Dublin; the Chorus sing the Evensong service at the fabled St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and wrap up their performance tour the next day at Christ Church Cathedral.

“We have 46 people going, most of which are members of the Chorus; about 40 of that number will be singing,” Tina Swisher, a member of Williamsport Civic Chorus, told “Webb Weekly.” “We began planning to do a concert tour of Ireland about three years ago, thinking it would be a great way to celebrate our 75th anniversary. The Chorus previously traveled to Eastern Europe, performing in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary in 1999 under the baton of Ned Wetherald.”

Swisher was asked Why Ireland? She said, “Well, frankly, it’s a bucket-list destination for many of us, and a favorite spot for director Mike Connor. We’ll be performing mostly American choral classics, including works that reflect early vocal styles such as William Billings’ “Black is the Color of my True Love’s Hair,” and songs that reflect the diversity of our national experience, like Moses Hogan’s “Hear My Prayer,” an uplifting African-American spiritual. Other selections include Aaron Copland’s rousing “The Promise of Living,” and composer Randall Thompson’s interpretation of American poet Robert Frost’s well-loved work, “The Road Not Taken,” as well as William Ernest Henley’s seminal poem, “Invictus,” set to music by our own director, Mike Connor. All four of our concerts will take place in churches or cathedrals, the highlight being the honor of singing the Evensong service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin.”

According to Swisher, when they are not performing, they will be visiting the sites that have made Ireland a tourist destination for so many. Kylemore Abbey and the Cliffs of Moher are on their list, as well as the Guinness Storehouse, Blarney Castle, and Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. As much as they are looking forward to performing in such fabled venues, they eagerly anticipate being tourists, too!

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