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Wayne Post
  • Choir is UK bound

  • Three years of barbecue fundraisers, silent auctions, a talent show, Christmas tree and wreath sales, car washes and Madrigal Dinners have paid off for the Palmyra-Macedon Select Choir.



    The Select Choir will be heading to the United Kingdom on March 29, and the Booster Club played a huge role in making that happen.

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  • Three years of barbecue fundraisers, silent auctions, a talent show, Christmas tree and wreath sales, car washes and Madrigal Dinners have paid off for the Palmyra-Macedon Select Choir.
    The Select Choir will be heading to the United Kingdom on March 29, and the Booster Club played a huge role in making that happen. The club alone raised half of each of the 27 students’ cost for the trip. Pal-Mac High School vocal music teacher Jill Davis said it was a community effort to help the respected choir make its trek across the Atlantic. Davis said they also received donations from choir alumni dating back to the 1960s.
    “It’s not any one of these things, but the accumulation of all of them for three years that made this trip possible,” Davis said, adding that some of the students have never been on an airplane, let alone out of the country. “The fundraising makes it possible for some of the kids to experience something new. It’s a real unique opportunity.”
    Davis began planning the trip two years ago, booking a tour company that arranged the itinerary based on what Davis wanted the students to experience. The tour group has booked four concerts for the students to perform at various locations, all steeped in history.
    “So much of choral music has its roots in the UK,” Davis said.
    But the students will gain much more than musical history from the trip. Davis said they will focus on the history of the buildings and locations they visit, and they will also experience the many cultures. To that end, Davis said, students will get their choice of food for lunch, but dinners will be three-course meals of local fare.
    “I don’t ask them to like it or love it,” Davis said. “I just ask that they try it.”
    Among the foods on the menu will be haggis, a Scottish dish, that is a savory pudding containing sheep's heart, liver and lungs. Traditionally haggis is made with minced onion, oatmeal, suet, spices and salt, mixed with stock, and encased in the animal's stomach then simmered for about three hours. Davis said it isn’t one of the meals, but it will be available for the students to try if they dare.
    On the itinerary, the students, along with 14 chaperones, will fly into London and will end their trip in Edinburro, Scotland, on April 6. During their stay, besides many castles, the students will visit:
    - Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare.
    - Bath Abbey, an Anglican parish church and a former Benedictine monastery that is able to seat 1,200 people.
    - The small town of Cardiss in Wales and Mold, a community where people travel by horse-drawn boats down the Llangollen Canal, much like the Erie Canal of the 1800s.
    Page 2 of 2 - - Stonehenge, the remains of a ring of standing stones set within earthworks in the English county of Wiltshire that is one of the most famous sites in the world.
    - Westminster Abbey, a large, mainly Gothic church in the city of Westminster, London that is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English monarchs of the Commonwealth realms.
    - The Tower of London, a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London that has played a prominent role in English history and has served as an armory, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public records office, the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, as well as many castles along the way.
    The choir has booked four concerts during their trip, including one at St. George of Bloombury’s Cathedral in London on Easter Sunday, after which they will go to see “Stomp,” the musical that has shown on Broadway. They will also perform at Warwick Castle, a medieval castle developed from an original built by William the Conqueror in 1068. It was used as a stronghold until the early 17th century and then converted into a country house. Another concert will be performed at St. Giles' Cathedral, the principal place of worship of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh. The church has been one of Edinburgh's religious focal points for approximately 900 years. Davis said she is hoping to arrange a concert with an Irish choir before they leave for home.

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