Kirk Singers stop over at FCPC

Susan EspirituFountain City, Our Town Neighbors

Traveling singers have been a part of human history for centuries from ancient times when bards would travel from place to place, or in medieval Europe when minstrels were performing in the courts or during the Renaissance era when traveling singers formed guilds and toured together in groups, entertaining town squares.

In the 19th century, traveling singers in America were known as “vaudevillians” and performed in variety shows that included comedy, music, and dance, traveling by train, performing in theaters and music halls across the country.

Last Saturday, June 10, Fountain City Presbyterian Church, was the overnight host for the Kirk Singers, a youth choir of 19 singers and 7 sponsors from Westminster Presbyterian Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, who hardly fit the description of any of the above traveling minstrel shows.

FCPC has hosted this choir for the past 12 years as they travel to the Montreat Conference Center that is nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina. Montreat is a private, non-profit conference center with roots in the PC(USA) and the singers travel to the center yearly for music week.

Helen Hoffmeister, the Director of Music at Westminster and director for the Kirk Singers is retiring this year after 20 years of service and FCPC choir director, Bob Eubanks, said,” It was an honor to host her last trip to Montreat with the singers.”

The congregation provided sleeping and food accommodations for the group on Saturday June 10 by supplying air mattresses, sleeping bags, blankets and plenty of food. Eubanks said,” The church’s educational wing looked like a huge campground.”

The singers provided several musical renditions during worship on Sunday to the overwhelming applause of the congregation in attendance.

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