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Raising their voices against homelessness

Concert to benefit Interfaith Partnership with diverse afternoon of music

Organizers are hoping that a yearly event to benefit a local homeless charity will be the biggest yet.

Voice of Hope has been an annual event for 16 years, and been hosted at the First United Methodist Church of Delmar for the past five. Turnout has been between 150 and 200 persons in years past, but the venue has space for 400, said aid First United's Nan Rabinow.

We're really hoping to fill our house this year, Rabinow said. "We've really pushed ourselves to get the word out this year quite aggressively."

Performances will be by the Capital District Youth Chorale, the University at Albany Chamber Signers, Mezzo-Soprano Soloist Kara Cornell and pianists from the Music Studio of Albany.

All told, the program promises to be over an hour of stirring and diverse music, said FUMC Music Director Joe Farrell.

"This year's a little bit different because it's bringing in musical groups and performers who are instrumentalists, as well as guest choral groups," he said. "We've reached out to the larger community a little bit by inviting the Capital District Youth Chorale."

The Youth Chorale, under the direction of Diane Warner, is a 110-member group that will perform five separate numbers. This will also be the first year a collegiate group has performed in the concert.

The Chancel Choir of First United Methodist will close the program.

The partnership with First United has been beneficial to Interfaith, said Director of Development Bonnie St. Onge.

"Interfaith is fortunate to be partners with the First United Methodist Church in Delmar," she said. "So many different churches do so many different things, and this is really a unique one. They coordinate this whole effort, they reach out on behalf of us."

While the church does fundraising for groups across the area and world, Interfaith is a group members are happy to spend their time and effort supporting because of the good work it does in the community, said FUMC's Nan Rabinow.

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