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Community Hymn Sing set for March 2

February 19, 2020
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

At 7 p.m. on March 2, the Boardman United Methodist Church, (BUMC) 6809 Market St. in Boardman will host Boardman Community Hymn Sing: A Celebration of Music in Our Community and Schools. The Boardman Community Hymn Sing will include a selection of audience-participation hymns that will help those in attendance reflect on the importance of music in the community and schools. Boardman United Methodist Church and Westminster Presbyterian Church choirs will be featured as well as the Boardman High School Choirs.

"I have long felt it would be valuable to organize a community-wide hymn sing," said Sean Baran, BUMC Organist and Director of the BUMC Community Concert Series. "A hymn sing is a beautiful symbol of many different people coming together in song, and the Boardman community is fortunate to boast a rich musical heritage. That musical heritage is very much so because of the Boardman schools music program, which is why I identified it as this year's beneficiary. It is my hope that this concert will affirm the value of a strong music program in the schools, not only for the musical experiences it offers, but also for the ways in which it helps unite a community across many generations."

Baran said previous concerts were held to raise funds for the McGuffey Historical Society in 2018 and the American Guild of Organists Youngstown Chapter in 2019.

"My main objective is to identity and raise awareness of organizations/groups who seek to build the greater Youngstown area into a more beautiful place to live," Baran said. "I believe that a concert series like this can help remind the community of the many people who work hard for the sake of the community. This is just one way in which Youngstown can work to define itself not by its past, but rather by its present and future."

While Baran is not a Boardman graduate, he has been the BUMC organist for over five years. He said BUMC's congregation includes many who have been through Boardman school's music programs as well as president of the school board, Victoria Davis, and the Boardman Schools superintendent Timothy Saxton.

At the Hymn Sing, the church choirs (BUMC and Westminster Presbyterian Church) will present three selections as a combined choir. BHS will be bringing two ensembles (BHS Chorale and the Boardman Singers, directed by Linda Smrek). These two high school ensembles will share selections that they are preparing for a performance at Universal Studios in Florida on March 6. All choirs will sing together on the four hymns throughout the event, and the audience will be invited to participate on the hymns.

The hymns have been selected to resonate with the theme of music empowering the community, and they will be accompanied by BUMC's powerful pipe organ. The event will close with an acapella singing of the BHS Alma Mater.

The event will be free, but a free-will offering will be taken of which all proceeds will benefit the Boardman Local Schools music department.

"Our concerts usually run around one hour," Baran said. "We always have many cookies and refreshments to enjoy after the concert."



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