Hamburg Area High School Choir had the auditorium rocking at the First Reformed UCC Church in Hamburg on March 10.

First Reformed transformed its auditorium into the Choral Café for an entertaining and relaxing afternoon. The Hamburg Area High School Choir performed in the Café while the audience enjoyed coffee and dessert. The public was invited to attend this free community event.

Under the guidance of Choral Director Sarah Jackson, the 20 students individually, and in small groups, performed songs from 16 popular musicals ranging from “The Wiz” and “Avenue Q” to “A Star is Born” and “West Side Story.”

The audience of roughly 100 church and community members was repeatedly launched from silently swaying during each rendition to raucous, heartfelt applause at the end of each song.

Working in concert with the students, Jackson and her daughter Sianna offered two selections. Additionally, Hamburg Superintendent Dr. Richard Mextorf sang as part of the “Legacy Barbershop Quartet” and later gave a solo performance of “If I Were A Rich Man.”

When asked why this concert was planned, Cora Brown, a student choir member, explained they were looking for opportunities to generate money for the choir to help fund their planned trip to a New York City Broadway performance in May. She also said that it’s just fun when she gets to sing with her friends.

Hamburg Hawk choir members included Hannah Werley, Sarah Karle, Sonali Shah, Kenzie Stocks, Ethan Hoke. Abby Behm, Harley Ludy, Lexi Lenhart Brendan Yoder, Cora Brown, Trayton Smith, Delani Remp, Hayley Curtis, Loy Miranda, Deva Nyer, Tiahna Trabosh, Deacon Shearer and Fawn Fix.

Ruth Zerr heads a group from the church that seeks to actively partner with the community. She indicated that the planets could not have aligned better to benefit the choir while giving the church another path to community involvement.

Like the audience, Jackson was thrilled with the performance of her students.

“It is good to be reminded of tradition, especially the long-standing, wonderful tradition of music in our country, in our town, and in our hearts,” said Jackson.

While enjoying some pastries after the show, Mextorf said, “Events like this present invaluable stage experience which is instrumental in the learning and development of the students.”

He also shared that he “thoroughly enjoys and makes a concerted effort to mix with the students one-on-one on a regular basis.”

“When students appear on stage, disabilities disappear,” said Mextorf.

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