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West Orange Times & Observer Tuesday, Jul. 3, 2018 2 months ago

Garden Choir performs in Limerick Sings Choral Festival

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Members of Garden Choir joined other choral groups from around the world for the Limerick Sings Choral Festival June 7 to 11 in Ireland.
by: Eric Gutierrez Staff Writer

Lindsay Stough describes performing at the sixth annual Limerick Sings International Choral Festival in Ireland as surreal.

“Unforgettable (is) the word that comes to mind when I (think) about performing there — it was truly incredible,” she said. “I think being in this other country and exploring it was an awesome experience in itself, but I really felt like the performance was the pinnacle of the whole (trip). We were there to have fun and there to tour as a group, but the music was why we were all really there.”

Stough lives in Windermere and is a member of the Garden Choir, which performed at the festival in early June. The Garden Choir was one of many choral groups from around the world that attended and performed at the Limerick Sings International Choral Festival at the University of Limerick in Limerick, Ireland.

“There were actually several days of performances,” Stough said. “We performed with two other major choirs. We sang with the York College singers from York College in Pennsylvania.”

Garden Choir member Danita Dunn, who lives in Winter Garden, recalled what it was like to perform at the festival.

“It was just a truly remarkable experience,” Dunn said. “We had a chamber orchestra perform with us. We were in a concert hall, so the acoustics were fantastic. We were singing with another choir that made us (sound) even more powerful. And to be able to sing in that venue, in that country in front of … many people who were there for the music was just incredible.”

Garden Choir Director Dr. Jeffery Redding served as the festival’s artistic director. He is also the choral director for West Orange High School, Dunn said.

“As a result of that (position), his choir was invited to attend,” Dunn said, adding that not every member of the choir was able to attend. “Everyone was given the opportunity (to go), but it’s an expensive trip, and you’ve got to take time off of work, so not everyone could go. But, we wish everyone could have been there.”

Garden Choir members Nancy Rex, left, Lindsay Stough and Danita Dunn are three of the about 30 choir members who traveled to Ireland to participate in the sixth annual Limerick Sings International Choral Festival.

Windermere resident Nancy Rex, also a member of the Garden Choir, said the group sang seven songs during its performance. 

“My absolute favorite part of the trip was getting to know the (Garden) Choir members better, because when we go to choir (rehearsals), you go in, you get there a few minutes early and get settled,” Rex said. “You might talk for a minute or two, and then you rehearse. You work. There’s no talking during rehearsal, which is how it should be so you can learn your music. And then afterward, it’s late and … people need to get home. So, there’s not a lot of time to socialize.”

Rex said the Garden Choir always is looking for new members. Those who are interested can visit the Garden Choir website to learn more. She said the Garden Choir rehearses during the school year at 7 p.m. on Mondays at the West Orange High School chorus room. They will start meeting again when school starts.

“Our entire mission is building community through song,” Rex said. “We are a community of people who love music, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a professional musician or if you’re somebody who likes to sing at home, you’re welcome to come.”

Eric Gutierrez is a staff writer with the West Orange Times & Observer and Windermere Observer. He graduatedĀ from the University of Central Florida in 2015 with a dual degree in Journalism and Political Science. Got a story idea? Contact Eric at...

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