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Young Singers Showcase Talents November 20 at Youth Choral Festival


MECHANICSBURG (October 24, 2022) - The critically-acclaimed Susquehanna Chorale and three of its educational choirs presented the Chorale’s annual Youth Choral Festival on Sunday, Nov. 20, at 4:00 p.m. at the Calvin and Janet High Center for Worship and Performing Arts, Messiah University, Mechanicsburg.


This inspiring intergenerational event, which inaugurates the Susquehanna Chorale’s 41st season, featured the Susquehanna Children’s Chorale, the Susquehanna Youth Chorale, and Susquehanna Young Women’s Chorale. The full Susquehanna Chorale joined the family of choirs to perform the program finale, Mack Wilberg’s Anthem of Peace, conducted by Artistic Director, Founder, and Conductor Linda L. Tedford.


“The members from these three groups represent the future of the choral art and its irreplaceable role in enriching our community,” said Tedford. “We invite area music lovers to join us and experience the inspiration of singing at all stages of life.”


The November 20 concert included selections from the traditional choral repertoire, spirituals, and folk songs from around the world. A number of the youth were featured in solo roles.


The Children’s Chorale, conducted by Judith Shepler, is composed of students from the fourth through the eighth grade. The Youth Chorale, conducted by Dru Deitch, includes students from the ninth grade through freshman year of college. Young ladies from the same age group comprise the Young Women’s Chorale, under the leadership of Mitchell Sensenig-Wilshire. Students are chosen by audition, and rehearse each fall for about 10 weeks in preparation for the concert. They are taught sight-singing, vocal technique, and expressivity through a challenging repertoire representing a variety of musical eras and styles. Students representing 30 area school districts as well as home-schooled children are involved.


“The Youth Choral Festival has become one of my favorite concerts of the year! Hearing those young voices of all ages lifts my heart and soul with every song they sing,” said Margee Kooistra of Mechanicsburg.


The Susquehanna Chorale is a nationally acclaimed adult chamber ensemble of 40 auditioned singers. Since its founding in 1981, the group has been praised for its “ethereal blend,” “unparalleled tone,” and strong emotional connection to the music. The Chorale is a recipient of Chorus America’s most prestigious award, the Margaret Hillis Achievement Award for Choral Excellence.


The Chorale’s founder and conductor, Linda L. Tedford, was honored by the American Choral Directors Association of Pennsylvania with the Elaine Brown Award for lifelong commitment to excellence and leadership in the choral art. In 2013, she received Theatre Harrisburg’s Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts in the Capital Region. Tedford is also the 2022 recipient of Central Penn Journal’s Circle of Excellence Award.


The Chorale is funded in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.