(Back, L-R) Lydia Mandanas-Fairclough, Charmaine Arandez, Lori Gartner, Romy Mandanas stand behind Sue Henderson, Warren Mack and Maria Perez prior to their trek to New York April 28. Photo submitted

Ponoka choir members sing again at famous venue

Group performs at Carnegie Hall for second time

Members of a Ponoka-based choir were once again privledged enough appear on stage at one of the world’s most famous concert venues.

Local singers Charmaine Arandez, Lori Gartner, Sue Henderson, Lydia Mandanas-Fairclough, Romy Mandanas and Maria Perez along with Edmonton conductor Warren Mack all performed as part of a mass choir at Carnegie Hall in New York City on April 28.

This is the second time in four years that this group were able to participate in the prestigious event, whcih brings together invited singers and 11 elite level high school choirs from across the U.S. to perform as one group.

This year, the concert will be conducted and led by the famed composer Eric Whitacre, featuring a number of his own popular compositions.

The local group, which had some family and others join them on the trip, began practising the various pieces back in September after being informed of their acceptance into the program.

Practices had been a rather arduous task, as the singers are required to sing the entire program from memory including five especially difficult pieces that were to be sung in Hebrew.

Mack noted that last fact was a real challenge for the group.

As a follow up, the singers will show off the same talents as they did in New York by hosting a concert featuring all of the songs performed at Carnegie Hall. That show, called From the Big Apple, is set for St. Augustine Church in Ponoka on May 27 and starts at 7:30 p.m.

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