On June 24, 1980 the very first Methodist Festival Choir convened on the campus of Shenandoah College & Conservatory of Music in Winchester, VA to prepare for their European Concert Tour. This choir was made up of approximately 150 young teens to college age youth from all across the United States. Under the leadership of Dr. Carlton Young Professor Emeritus of Church Music at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, the group was quickly molded into an outstanding choral organization.
The Methodist Festival Choir visited historical sites, missions, and parish churches rich in Wesleyan history and Methodist heritage. Their itinerary took them to Salisbury, Bristol, Leicester, Oxford, and London, England; Paris, France; Zurich, Switzerland; Salsburg, Austria; and Munich, Germany.
They brought their message through music to some of the most notable Cathedrals as well as to some of the most appreciative church's in Europe.
This year, 2015 marks 35 years since that very first tour. Through the power of social media and the Internet,that very first choir is reconnecting and renewing friendships. We have a Facebook group page where daily the "kids" from the past are returning. Our goal is to reconnect and sing one more time together as a choir and if possible have Dr. Carlton Young (the editor of our UM Hymnal) conduct us or at least be our special guest.
Facebook group may be found here.
Mr. Robert Palmer of Del Rio is trying to organize the reunion. You can contact him here.