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Singing praises

March 31, 2000

The Hagerstown Area Children's Choral Festival and Workshop

Saturday, April 8, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; concert at 4 p.m.

Trinity Lutheran Church

15 Randolph Ave.

Hagerstown

The morning workshop, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., is on choral techniques for children and is geared toward choir directors and members, directors of children's ministries, those interested in or who are working with children and those who want to learn more about singing. The fee is $20 per person. From 11 a.m. to noon, there will be a question-and-answer session. There is no cost to attend the concert, which is open to the public.

For information, call David Loy, festival coordinator, at 301-739-6337.

By MEG H. PARTINGTON / Staff Writer

For weeks, 40 young people from Washington County have been preparing to sing praises.

cont. from lifestyle

The youth, in grades three to eight, are gearing up for the concert Saturday, April 8, that concludes The Hagerstown Area Children's Choral Festival and Workshop at Trinity Lutheran Church, 15 Randolph Ave. in Hagerstown.

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Participants are members of the children's choirs at The Presbyterian Church of Hagerstown, St. John's Episcopal Church, Otterbein United Methodist Church and Zion Evangelical and Reformed Church in Hagerstown, and St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Funkstown.

They come from different schools and churches, but they share an enthusiasm for at least one activity.

"I love singing," says Grace Yodie, 12, of Hagerstown. The sixth-grader at E. Russell Hicks Middle School who sings at The Presbyterian Church of Hagerstown says she would like to make a career out of it.

Brady Myers, 11, of Williamsport, is following a musical family tradition.

"My whole entire family sang in every single choir here (at St. John's Episcopal Church)," says Brady, a sixth-grader at Springfield Middle School. For kids his age who never have sung, he says, "I say try it before you judge it."

For some kids, being in the festival is different than singing for a church service.

"The festival is pretty long, and there's a lot more songs," says Kevin DeMine, 11, of Williamsport, a sixth-grader at Springfield Middle School.

Gabriella Ailstock, 8, of Hagerstown, a third-grader at Potomac Heights Elementary School, says the music for the festival is a little longer than she's used to.

"It's a little more nerve-racking," says Jesse Nye, 13, of Hagerstown, an eighth-grader at Northern Middle School.

"It's a lot more important," says Elizabeth Cuthbert, 11, of Hagerstown, a sixth-grader at Northern Middle School.

Elizabeth says her favorite song in the festival is "Do You Know Your Shepherd's Voice?" by Suzanne Lord because "The melody's easy to sing."

Singing under the leadership of Michael Jothen, associate professor of music at Towson University, doesn't worry the students.

"That's cool," says Jesse, of St. John's Episcopal Church. "It sort of livens it up a little bit."

"It's practically the same thing," says David Seiler, 11, of Halfway, a sixth-grader at Springfield Middle School.

Christine Brooks, a seventh-grader at E. Russell Hicks Middle School, is ready to learn.

"I think it's going to give us a chance to work together better," says Christine, 13, of Funkstown, a member of Canterbury Choir at St. John's Episcopal Church. "I think it's going to be a broadening experience. We're going to have to listen to each other."

Colin Lodter, 10, is doing more than rehearsing his music to get ready for the festival.

"I'm getting more sleep," says Colin, of Hagerstown, a fourth-grader at Potomac Heights Elementary School who sings at St. John's Episcopal Church.

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