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Local church choir performs at Carnegie Hall

The First Evangelical Lutheran Church choir put on a concert to a packed house Sunday night. They recently returned from New York City where they performed at Carnegie Hall.

“Stepping out on that stage and performing, there was really just a moment,” Penny Dixon, church music director, said.

The group joined choirs from around the country for the special performance of Joseph Martin’s “Appalachian Winter.” Dixon says it was a dream come true.

“Oh, it was just a really special time for all of us,” she said. “It’s such a hallowed place where only the best of the best have an opportunity to perform. It was really surreal for all of us. They were very prepared. I was so proud of my group. They just did a great job.”

Forty-four members from the group made the trip to New York. They say performing in such a famous building was surreal.

“We were standing on stage and you could almost feel the history from all the years of just really great performers who had been there,” Briam Johnson, one of the choir members, said. “You could almost hear the ringing of the performances that had happened before us.”

The group never imagined they’d have an opportunity to perform somewhere like Carnegie Hall.

“I’d say its a dream come true, but I never imagined that I’d be singing in Carnegie Hall,” Johnson said. “It’s just, I still pinch myself. It seemed like a dream in a lot of ways.”

Dixon agrees.

“I suppose all musicians dream of those things, but that just never crossed my mind,” she said. “It was certainly a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Group members give credit to Dixon, whose leadership led the way for their success.

“It was more about our director of music than anything,” Johnson said. “She has spent years and years developing this group. Lots of dedicated effort. And something like this doesn’t happen by accident. There was a lot of work that went into this and she has just done a tremendous job.”

They were 44 members of about 250 singers to participate in the performance.

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