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Thursday, August 10, 2017


WELLSBORO—The Hamilton-Gibson Children and Youth Choirs will officially begin their 23rd season on Tuesday, Aug. 15 at a special kick-off rehearsal at the Bogaczyk Farm in Cherry Flats, Thomas Putnam, director of the community-based choirs has announced.

“Our program has grown from just 18 singers in grades 4-8 in 1996, to a full program for singers in grades 2-12 from all over Tioga County," said Putnam.

Youth from Bradford, Lycoming, Potter and Tioga counties in Pennsylvania and Chemung and Steuben counties in New York are welcome to join the choirs. “They do have to be willing to drive to rehearsals and performances," he said.

Registration for the choirs is open. All singers from grades 2-12 are encouraged to apply. Opportunities include the Young Men’s Choir for boys in grades 9-12 or those with changed voices; the Young Women’s Choir for girls in grades 9-12; the Children’s Concert Choir for children in grades 5-8; and Choir Too for children in grades 2-4 or those who are still working on their singing voices. Choir Too is the training choir.

Each choir meets once a week for rehearsal and performs an autumn concert, a holiday concert at Dickens of a Christmas Weekend and a spring concert. The choirs also perform as asked during the year.

The first rehearsal for the 2017-2018 season for the Young Men's and Young Women's choirs will be on Monday, Aug. 21 and for the Children Concert Choir and Choir TOO, Tuesday, Aug. 22.

Touring began early in H-G Choir history and has included trips to Washington D.C., New York City, Toronto, Prague in the Czech Republic and Brazil. On April 28, 2015 the choirs completed their never-before-attempted 67 Initiative with its goal to sing in all 67 counties in Pennsylvania. This past May, three of the choirs went on a four-day singing and sightseeing trip to Cleveland, Ohio.

Other highlights have included singing the National Anthem at a Phillies game in front of over 60,000 people; at the Flight 93 Memorial near Shanksville, Pa.; at Fallingwater, a home designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright; and at many schools throughout the state.

The choirs have performed with the choral department at Mansfield University; with the MU Symphony Orchestra and the Williamsport Youth Orchestra as well as a number of community-based choral programs throughout Pennsylvania.

For 15 of the past 16 years, the choirs have sung the National Anthem at the Little League World Series in Williamsport. They will be doing that again this year on Saturday, Aug. 19. The first year they sang there was in 2001 for President Bush who was attending the Little League baseball series.

The tuition cost to participate in an HG choir is kept to a minimum due to gifts from local citizens who are committed to offering a quality community choral experience for local students and through parent-run fundraisers.

Scholarships are available for any children who desire to sing and are from families in difficult financial situations. 

For more information about the Hamilton-Gibson choir program for children and youth, call the H-G office at 570-724-2079 or email

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