Van Wert’s First United Methodist Chancel Choir has been invited to perform in the National Memorial Day Choral Festival Concert 2020 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. They will be traveling from Van Wert May 22-26, 2020 by motor coach to Washington D.C. to rehearse with a festival chorus under the direction of Dr. Craig Jessop, former director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the U.S. Singing Sergeants. They will be accompanied by the U.S. Air Force Symphony Orchestra. This annual sold-out concert at the Kennedy Center will be held Sunday, May 24. Additionally, they will perform at the Opening Ceremonies of the National Memorial Day Parade on Historic Constitution Avenue on May 25.
“The selection process was made through a submission of recordings of the choir,” states Paul Hoverman, choir director. The choir was also selected to sing at the 2016 Worldwide United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Oregon. “This probably aided in the selection process and eventual invitation,” stated Hoverman.
While in D.C., the choir will also be visiting the Jefferson Memorial, the Marine Corps Iwo Jima Memorial, Korean, WWII, and Viet Nam Memorials, as well as the Holocaust Memorial Museum. They will also participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and attend the National Memorial Day Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, featuring the National Symphony Orchestra and broadcast each year on PBS.
The First United Methodist Chancel Choir will be giving a local concert on May 31 for the public to enjoy once they return from Washington D.C.