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Festival Choir to perform at Sunday Night Unplugged

This Sunday evening at 5 p.m, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church will have a very special Sunday Night Unplugged service, featuring the Choral Workshop Festival Choir singing excerpts from Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria. “

This concert will be a culmination of a weekend of choral rehearsals for singers from around the community, conducted by guest clinician, Peter Schindler, from Lewisville, Texas. Schindler will teach valuable singing techniques that will help the singers learn proper breathing methods, and how to produce a lovelier tone.

This is the second year St. Patrick’s has offered this workshop.

“We feel that music is such a fundamental part of our culture and our worship here in Pagosa Springs,” says Fr. Doug Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s. “We are privileged to offer our community the opportunity to study with someone like Peter Schindler. I have known him for years and can promise that those who attend this workshop will go away feeling renewed and inspired,” he said.

Schindler is not only a professional singer, he is a dedicated church musician, one who has spent a major part of his career teaching church choirs to sing to God, using their most practiced and skilled voices.

“Peter is of the mind that when we sing to God, we owe God our best, our most beautiful sounds” says Fr. Doug.

Schindler holds weekly Saturday morning voice classes in addition to choral rehearsals at his church, The Episcopal Church of the Annunciation, in Lewisville. During these classes, singers are led through exercises, and methods to strengthen their voices. He considers these classes to be an essential part of his ministry, to teach his singers good technique and to help them more fully enjoy their offerings of music. He approaches his classes with great humor and a belief that music is a joyous exercise.

Sunday Night Unplugged, a monthly music and meditation service, is free and open to the public. It provides an opportunity for people, no matter where they are in their spiritual journey, to come and meditate and find peace with God.

“Many who attend this service walk away feeling refreshed, inspired, and ready to face life’s challenges with a more focused and peaceful heart,” says Fr. Doug. “The service is designed to allow each person to meet God in their own way, without pressure or preconceived expectation. We simply invite the Holy Spirit to be among us so that we can absorb and delight in God’s presence and love.”

Music plays an important part in the meditation at Sunday Night Unplugged. Since its beginning two years ago, SNU has brought many different styles of music, from classical to blue grass, from solo saxophone to choral music, each offering a different approach to meeting the presence of God. Regardless of the style of the music offered, there is no question that God is there in the midst of it all.

“Musicians seem to really enjoy playing for Sunday Night Unplugged,” says Fr. Doug. “There is such an intentionality in the listening that just isn’t the same in any other venue. Musicians find they have made a very special connection with those who are present.”.

It is not too late to sign up for the choral workshop. The workshop will begin from 4-6:30 p.m. on Friday, July 15, will continue all day on Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m., and will conclude Sunday afternoon, July 17, with a rehearsal and choral presentation at Sunday Night Unplugged. Practice CDs and music are now available in the church office. The cost of the workshop is only $25.

St. Patrick’s is located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd. Contact the church office at 731-5801 or Sally Neel at sneel1@sbcglobal.net to register for the workshop or to receive more information.

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