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Chester County Press

Lincoln Concert Choir performs at Gov. Shapiro’s inauguration

01/30/2023 02:37PM ● By Steven Hoffman
The Lincoln University Concert Choir lit up the stage for former state Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s inauguration as Pennsylvania’s new governor on Jan. 17 in Harrisburg.
They performed "America the Beautiful" arranged by Ryan Nowlin and “I Sing Because I’m Happy” arranged by Rollo Dilworth. 
“The choir was thrilled to be invited to perform at this prestigious and momentous occasion. After the cessation of live performance opportunities during COVID, this occasion felt particularly triumphant and celebratory for the choir,” said Victoria Pitre, an assistant professor of music, director of choral activities and director of opera workshop.    
The University’s choir is no stranger to acclaim and audience excitement.
Pitre reports the Lincoln University Concert Choir members serve as ambassadors for the university by building relationships with communities, touring extensively, and performing recruitment concerts at churches of all denominations and K-12 schools throughout the country. 
Some of the choir’s most recent tours have included performing in Los Angeles, California, Atlanta, Georgia, and its international debut in South Africa.  
The choir has also been asked to sing the National Anthem at home games for professional sports teams, including the Philadelphia Phillies and the Philadelphia Eagles. The choir was also invited to participate in the HBCU Choral Festival at Norfolk State University.
On Jan.16, the choir performed at the 22nd annual Celebration of MLK Day, sponsored by the Martin Luther King Community of the Greater Kennett Area.
On Feb. 11 they will be collaborating with the Vox Philia Chamber Choir, Berks Sinfonietta, and the Albright College Chamber Ensemble for "God Has Work for Us to Do: A Celebration of Black History Month.” This performance will be held at the Immanuel United Church of Christ in Shillington at 7:30 p.m. 
The 44-member chorus welcomes vocalists from all majors at the university. The Concert Choir rehearses five days a week, for a total of roughly seven hours a week. Pitre said that participants are required to audition to be in the choir, and are eligible for scholarship money with a 3.0 GPA or above.
The choir members prepared early on Tuesday for the trip to Harrisburg. The arrived at school at 6:45 a.m., and boarded the bus 7:30 a.m. 
Their 11 a.m. performance was outside, as was the entire ceremony. Pitre said it was cold, but the members were prepared for the conditions.
Looking back on their adventure, Pitre said many of the choir members felt the responsibility and ownership of being prepared for such a big event, since it was being broadcast.
“They said that it was very cool to be up on the screen and to be able to connect with some state representatives afterwards,” she said.