Hometown Church choirs sing on Big City stage

ROANOKE CO., Va. (WDBJ7) These performers are used to singing on Sundays. But this past Monday, Memorial Day, they had a performance, they’ll likely never forget. They took the stage at Lincoln Center in New York City.

“Singing on a stage like that is such, it’s such a trip. It’s a high. And as I stood there beside Bruce, one of our choir members, I said this is such an awesome privilege to be able to stand here and be accompanied by an orchestra like this,” said Paul Peak, associate director of music at Bonsack Baptist Church.

The choir at Bonsack Baptist and Thrasher Memorial United Methodist were two of about 10 church choirs that performed together on stage, and the piece was something special.

“The work was called ‘Psalm 23 A Journey with the Shepard’. It was probably roughly 40 minutes long and contained full symphonic orchestra,” said Josh O’Dell, Minister of music at Thrasher Memorial United Methodist Church.

And the memories they created both on and off stage in the Big City followed them back to the Roanoke Valley.

“We met people from Britain, from Switzerland, from Australia. It’s just, probably no place like it,” Nancy Parr said, a member of Bonsack Baptist’s choir.

Parr’s been with Bonsack’s choir to Lincoln before, and also to Carnegie Hall and Constitution Hall. But for her, it never gets old.

“It’s almost hard to describe,” she said. “You realize you’re standing on the shoulders of so many great people who have been there before you. So when you stand on stage and look out in that house, you think of all the great music, probably some three thousand productions a year totally that go on there. So it’s a bit intimidating, but also thrilling.”

And for their director, Barry Green, the guy who helped orchestrate this for the community:

“It is certainly an honor and a privilege to be involved,” he said. “It was a wonderful experience, that’s probably the best way to sum it up.”