Popular choral program to return Saturday

May 24, 2007|by JULIE E. GREENE

St. Patrick's Chorale is bringing back its most successful program Saturday to celebrate the local chorus' 10th anniversary and honor local veterans.

The chorus will perform its signature Memorial Day program - "The Home of the Brave," a work that includes well-recognized patriotic songs in an arrangement that tells the story of the United States through music and narration, said Sandra Shirey, the chorus' director and founder.

The chorus first performed "The Home of the Brave" in May 2001 before a packed house during two shows at Hagerstown Community College's Kepler Theater, said Shirey, who lives east of Hagerstown. The chorus also performed the program on Veterans Day 2001 at The Maryland Theatre at the request of a group of local businesspeople following Sept. 11's terrorist attacks. That concert raised $10,000 for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund for Sept. 11, Shirey said.

Saturday's performance includes the chorus, which has about 45 members; an orchestra of 30; and a children's ensemble, Shirey said. There also will be a color guard from Fort Detrick in Frederick County, Md., and people dressed as historical figures.


Performers will recite the words of American founders, explorers and defenders, including excerpts from historical speeches such as The Gettysburg Address, Shirey said.

During the concert, veterans will be recognized.

The chorus performs two concerts a year.

The chorus, though not called St. Patrick's Chorale at the time, began in 1997 with a performance of Philip Green's "The St. Patrick's Mass." Shirey had heard the program on PBS and was able to acquire the music, saving it for 10 years until she was able to assemble a chorus to perform it.

If you go ...

WHAT: St. Patrick's Chorale presents "The Home of the Brave"

WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday, May 26

WHERE: The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., downtown Hagerstown

COST: Free; donations encouraged

MORE: For more information, go to or, or call Sandra Shirey, chorus director, at 301-790-0114.

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