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Howard Hanna


Saturday, May 8, 2021


Photo by John Eaton
Kacy Hagan, a Hamilton-Gibson choral program alumna, is shown with Thomas Putnam, director of the new HG summer choir.

"I’m excited to be able to sing with Hamilton-Gibson’s 25th Season Celebratory Choir this summer,” said Kacy Hagan, an HG choral program alumna.

The first rehearsal of HG’s newest choir will be at 6:30 p.m. this Monday, May 10 in the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church at 130 Main Street in Wellsboro. 

Invited to participate are singers entering the ninth through twelfth grades this fall, including boys with changed voices; HG Children and Youth Choir alumni; and anyone who was in HG's production of "I Never Saw Another Butterfly." 

In late winter of 1996, Kay Galloway and Thomas Putnam welcomed 18 fourth through eighth graders to the newly founded Hamilton-Gibson Children's Choir. Hagan was one of them. 

The children’s choir had its beginnings in March of 1993, when Putnam and Galloway produced "I Never Saw Another Butterfly." Hagan was in the play. It is based on a book of poetry and drawings made by the children of Terezin, a Nazi concentration camp just north of Prague that existed from Nov. 24, 1941 to May 9, 1945.

Many talented musicians, composers, painters and poets housed at Terezin affirmed the children's humanity and gave them hope by encouraging them to write poetry and draw or paint on any scraps of paper they could find. Thousands of poems, drawings and paintings were created, hidden and then discovered years after World War II ended.

"For our production, we used songs created by a Philadelphia composer who set some of the children's poems to music," said Putnam. More than 100 children auditioned. About 80 youth ages 8 to 18 and several adults performed in the play at Mansfield University's Steadman Theatre.

"It was a powerful experience. Kay and I were amazed at how the children embraced the story and the difficult, challenging music. That led us to start the Hamilton-Gibson Children's Choir a few years later," Putnam said. 

"In 1993, I was in 'I Never Saw Another Butterfly' and in 1996, I was in the inaugural class of the HG Children’s Choir,” said Hagan. "I also participated in the reunion concert that we did a handful of years ago," she said. "It was so special to hear and sing some of the same songs that we sang when I was a child in the choir and to learn new ones that were familiar to other generations of singers. 

"The HG choral program is inspiring because it harnesses the talents and attention of children of so many different ages. It has been a very formative experience for so many of us," Hagan said. 

Over the years, the HG choral program has grown from one choir for fourth through eighth graders to four choirs for second through twelfth graders and has provided youth with a wide variety of places to visit and experiences to enjoy.

"Our 25th Season was actually in 2020,” said Putnam. “Because of the pandemic, we are celebrating our 25th Season this summer," he said. 

"We may be masked and distanced but we'll be singing SATB (soprano, alto, tenor and bass) music together," said Putnam.   

For more information about joining the 25th Season Celebratory Choir, call Hamilton-Gibson at 570-724-2079 or email

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

amazed at how the children embraced the story!