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One Joyful Choir

On a November Saturday afternoon, a group known as One Joyful Choir came together in song to raise money for a hospital in Haiti.  Consisting of 500 singers from over 130 Presbyterian churches from the southeast region of Pennsylvania, the singers performed at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, located in the heart of Philadelphia.

The event, dubbed Hallelujahs for Haiti, was created by the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Organization to raise money for earthquake relief — specifically to support Hôpital Sainte Croix in Léogâne, Haiti.

According to the One Joyful Choir’s website, “the presbytery is encouraging all churches and members to work together, sharing gifts and resources.”  The overall concept was intended to provide people with an opportunity to spread fellowship and joy, while giving singers an opportunity to praise God and worship through the gift of music.  This was the third year for this glorious event.  The 2007 concert raised over $40,000 used to assist those in need around what is known as The City of Brotherly Love.  This year the proceeds were used for Haitian earthquake relief.

Hallelujahs for Haiti was conducted by Dr. Pearl Shangkuan, a professor at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The choir was accompanied by Andrew Senn, organist for the First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, with piano, brass, and percussion used to accompany the massive choral production.  Thirteen choral pieces were performed during the concert, including Jeffrey Honore’s composition “How Can I Keep from Singing” and Moses Hogan’s “We Shall Walk Through the Valley in Peace.” An organ and church music professor from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota by the name of John Ferguson also composed an anthem for the concert.  One Joyful Choir began rehearsing for this magnificent event many months prior, with all affiliated with the program devoting a great deal of their talent and time to provide beautiful music for a worthy cause.

Click here to visit the choir’s website.

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Heidi Norris
A Vocalist and a Concert Opera Philadelphia Company Board Member. Earned a M.S. Degree from Full Sail University (July 2010), and B.A. In Music from Immaculata University (May 2006). Works in the Accounts Payable division of J.W. Pepper.

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