UMES Concert Choir To Hold Basket Bingo to Benefit Performance in Hawaii
PRINCESS ANNE, MD - After over 150 practices and 25 performances, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Concert Choir members toting luggage and tickets in hand, boarded a plane bound for the land of pineapples, leis and luaus.
For the past decade, students in the choir have culminated a year s worth of hard work and dedication by traveling overseas on tour. Exotic venues such as Barbados; Frankfurt, Germany; Paris, France; Nassau, Bahamas; Montego Bay, Jamaica; the U.S. Virgin Islands; London, England; and Trinidad have echoed with the melodious voices of the university's choir.
This year, the Hawaiian Island of Oahu was home to 29 students and their advisors for seven days.
"Hawaii was an unforgettable trip," said Shakia Paylor, a senior at UMES and a mezzo soprano in the choir. "The Polynesian people were really kind. They gave us leis."
"It's hard work singing, but we become closer, like a family, when touring," said Nicholas George, a UMES senior, choir baritone.
UMES Concert Choir members sang at several venues including Trinity Missionary Baptist Church in Honolulu, Aliamanu Military Reservation in Aliamanu, the Hale Koa Hotel in Honolulu and the military's Schofield Barracks Chapel.
"I felt particularly honored to have in our audience military members, retirees and their families. Some of the service members had recently returned or were departing for Iraq," said Dr. Sheila McDonald Harleston, UMES choir director. "One military family vacationing at the Hale Koa sent the choir a personal thank you and photos of the choir performing when they returned to their California home."
According to Harleston, the students were overwhelmed not only by the beauty of Hawaii, but also by the introduction of a new culture. The group toured the Polynesian Culture Center, a pineapple plantation and participated in an authentic luau with one of the members winning a hula contest.
To help defray the cost of the 2008-09 trip, the choir will host its fourth annual Longaberger Basket Bingo fundraiser on Saturday, October 11, in the ballroom of the UMES Student Services Center. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased from any Concert Choir member or by calling 410-651-6574. Receive a free raffle ticket by purchasing your ticket in advance.
Gail Stephens, assistant director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7580, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Suzanne Waters Street, director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-621-2355, email@example.com
Photo Caption (Top):
Members of the UMES Concert Choir enjoy an authentic luau in Hawaii during their performance tour. A Basket Bingo fundraiser is slated for October 11 to raise funds for the 2008-09 trip.
Photo Caption (Bottom):
Choir members perform on the grand staircase at the Hale Koa Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii.