“What a wonderful time” is what the response to me was for the five year celebration for the Festival of Choirs USA! The Festival was held on August 17th at 807 Skinner Creek road, Port Allegany, Pa 16743. We started at 10am and ended at 7:00pm. Good food and drinks were available throughout the day.
There were discussions many times before the Festival this year if there was even going to be a 2013 Festival of choirs USA. I had had some major back surgery after the Festival last year and haven’t been able to work since. BUT GOD was faithful to HIS PROMISE and there was a 2013 FESTIVAL OF CHOIRS USA!!!
I personally wanted to thank my adult children, family and all of the volunteers that without them the Festival would have never happened!! Some lived nearby and others traveled hundreds of miles to come and help. God is the love of my life and the second one I have been married to for over 34 years. Love you BonnieJean Goochee for all of your support that no one else will ever know about!!
A big thank you to A-1 RENT-ALL in Olean, New York for their tent and chairs rental. A thank you to Barbara and Andy Barrett for providing their sound and lighting service. Burke’s rental for Porta-jons. To John Mallery for his blessings, support and friendship for so many years. Thank you to all of the people that supported financially and believe that the Choirs need to be restored back into the churches.
Thank you to the five churches that entered the Festival this year. The churches that entered were:
1. The Saint Eulalia Catholic church of Coudersport, Pa. lead by Gloria Richardson.
2. The Arcade United Church of Christ of Arcade, N.Y. led by Dona Roll.
3. The Cuba First Baptist Church of Cuba N.Y. led by Nettie White.
4. The Sawyer Evangelical Church of Bradford, Pa. led by Jamie Trask.
5. The United Methodist Church of Smethport, Pa. led by Carol Ball.
We also had five other groups and individuals that blessed us. They were:
1. The Barr Family Band
2. The Ecumenical Choir from the Coudersport and surrounding areas.
3. Simple Faith
4. Marvin Caskey
The choirs were judged on a variety of items. All of the choirs were EXCELENT!! It was a very close call. All of the church choirs were within a 9 point difference of each other in the judging. Incredible!!!!
We also had a Directors lunch where the choir directors got together with a professional choir director just to chat. The directors had a time to talk about different techniques and receive helpful tips to take back with them to their church choirs from the Festival.
There was also a time where all of the choir directors and choir members got together and were given information that will help them with their choirs.
** The winner of the 7-11 members **
United Methodist Church of Smethport, Pa.
** The winner of the 22 plus members **
First Baptist Church of Cuba, N.Y.
Next year, the sixth annual Festival of Choirs USA is scheduled for August 16, 2014. Choir registration will run from June 1st through August 1st. If you have any questions you can reach us on the Festival’s website which is www.festivalofchoirsusa.com or call me at 757-630-1490.
Be blessed, enjoy and see you there next year if not before on August 16th, 2014!! Practice your fa la la’s.
Jerry J. Goochee