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An event of patriotic note

St. Patrick's Chorale performs for large crowd

St. Patrick's Chorale performs for large crowd

May 28, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

Sandra Baughman hurried into The Maryland Theatre Saturday night, anxious to get ready for the annual Memorial Day concert by St. Patrick's Chorale.

"I'm excited about this evening," Baughman said, noting she has been a member all nine years the musical group has been in existence.

As the audience began to arrive, some were admitted first-timers, while others said they were devoted fans.

"I play handbells and sing in my church choir," said Nina Sandeen, who was experiencing the chorale for the first time. "I am open to whatever I'm going to hear tonight."

The 43-member chorale, directed by Sandra Shirey, was accompanied Saturday night by the 16 members of the St. Patrick's children chorus, the 24-piece concert band and a number of soloists.

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"It's new for me, too," said Debbie Myers who accompanied Sandeen to the concert. "I just like patriotic music."

Ellie Andrews said this is the fourth time she has attended a St. Patrick's Chorale concert.

"It's great, so I'm back," Andrews said.

The curtain went up before a nearly packed house including the balcony, according to one of the ushers.

The program, "An Album of Courage: 1861-2006," was written as a fictional genealogy of a northern and southern family.

As the program got under way, music of the Civil War filled the theater, including the haunting "Shenandoah," the whimsical "Eatin' Goober Peas" and ending with audience participation in "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."

Patriotic tunes from World War I and World War II were next, including familiar selections by George M. Cohan and others.

The Korean and Vietnam wars were represented by "God Bless America," "The Mansions of the Lord" and a Disney singalong.

Conflicts from 1991 through the current Middle East conflicts rounded out the program, again with audience participation requested at the close.

It was announced in the program that donations received at last year's concert exceeded $1,300, and were used to purchase 85 calling cards for military personnel stationed in Iraq.

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