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Carnegie Hall group

From left, the Bandon residents who traveled to New York over Thanksgiving weekend to sing at Carnegie Hall include Tom Collins, Bobbi Neason, Larry Doss, Laura Guzman, Paul Hay, Cindy Hay, Farrell Fox, Dorabeth Sutterfield and Debbie Griffith. Singer not pictured: Angelina Morones.

BANDON - Last fall, several Bandon residents traveled to New York City to participate in a Thanksgiving weekend Carnegie Hall performance. "Appalachian Winter, A Cantata for Christmas" was a Distinguished Concert in New York series production directed by well-known sacred music composer and conductor, Joseph M. Martin.

The cantata was performed on Nov. 17, 2017, by a 280-plus voice choir and professional soloists. Sue Martin and Sarah Whittemore, and accompanied by the multi-Grammy nominated bluegrass band Dailey & Vincent. This work and the one that comprised the second half of the program (the world premiere of "Rhapsody in Bluegrass") were both experiments by composer Martin in “musical fusion,” a blending of traditional hymnody using early American carols and folk tunes with the Appalachian fervor and excitement of bluegrass.

The performance drew an enthusiastic standing ovation from the knowledgeable Carnegie Hall audience, as well as very favorable New York reviews. Martin himself wrote to the choirs afterwards, “I have been honored to stand on the podium a number of times in the past, but never have I felt the energy that I experienced from this event. Congratulations on a job well done and a song well sung!”

The Bandon singers were Tom Collins, Larry Doss, Farrell Fox, Debra Griffith, Laura Guzman, Cindy and Paul Hay, Angelina Morones, Bobbi Neason and Dorabeth Sutterfield. All were in total agreement that the five-day, four-night adventure was a “once in a lifetime” musical experience. And all were amazed, humbled and greatly appreciative of the wonderful support received from this community in their efforts to raise the necessary funds.

The group would like to invite all supporters and anyone interested to come to the Sprague Theater at 2 p.m. Sunday March 11, to view the official video of the full performance on “the big screen.” The Men’s Fellowship of First Presbyterian Church will offer light refreshments during intermission. There is no cost to attend the showing, but attendees are encouraged to bring a food staple donation for the Bandon Feeds the Hungry food programs.

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