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Julie White / (The Daily Herald/Julie White)  

Last Saturday, hundreds flocked into Gray Field for Music in the Valley, the 2019 Tyrone Golden Eagle Marching Band home show. The band hosted nine other bands from all around the state, including from Elk County, DuBois Area, and Eisenhower, near the New York border. The band achieved a score of 83.655 in exhibition for their home performance of “Nature’s Fury” and will travel to Johnstown tomorrow for their next regular season competition.

Tyrone holds CROP Walk to end hunger

The annual CROP walk was held Sunday in Tyrone to help raise money to end world hunger. Approximately 30 local people participated in this year’s walk.

“I love participating in this walk when I can,” said Mary Edna Lykens of Tyrone, who walked representing Church of the Good Shepherd.

According to the CROP Hunger Walk web site, Tyrone has raised over $900 to help end hunger in the community and worldwide.

Pastor Eric Shafer of Church of the Good Shepherd and Warriors Mark United Methodist Church listed 11 members under a walking team named the Warrior Shepherd. Together, they raised over $600 for the CROP Walk.

”Wow, what a great team we have!” he said, thankful for the participation of the members to help others in need. “It’s hard to believe that in some parts of the world people are walking two miles just to get fresh water. Blessings all those who supported us!”

Annually, CROP Hunger Walks are community-wide events sponsored by Church World Service and organized by local congregations or groups to raise funds towards ending hunger. The effort began 50 years ago in 1969 in Bismarck, North Dakota to help the Christian Rural Overseas Program (CROP) which began in 1947. Midwest farm families shared their grain with hungry neighbors in post-World War II Europe and Asia. The acronym is retained for historical reasons.{/span}

{span}Funds from Tyrone’s hunger walk, and other events worldwide, go to grassroots development efforts around the world as part of the Church World Service to provide food and water — including seeds, tools, and water systems. Each local walk can return up to 25 percent of raised funds to programs in the local community.{/span}

Other area CROP walks are going on this month, with the State College walk taking place this Sunday at Grace Lutheran Church, South Garner Street from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., and the Claysburg walk at Claysburg Church of the Brethren at 1:30 p.m.

Grier students make fall decor for senior citizens

Students of Grier School’s Garden Club last week created fall decorations as gifts for senior citizens who reside at the local Colonial Courtyard assisted-living facility.

The students traveled with Christine Fernandez, Garden Club advisor and science teacher, to a local farm and selected assorted gourds. Back on campus, gourds were adorned with dried flowers and leaves from Peterman’s Flower Shop in Altoona, silk flowers, and other decorative items that Fernandez had on hand.

“It did brighten them up, especially when they get homemade gifts,” said Phyllis Ross, administrative services director at Colonial Courtyard, Tyrone. “Some of the residents don’t get visitors and don’t have local family, so even anyone stopping in means a lot to them.”

Some of the assembled gourd creations were very interesting said Fernandez, and were a way to share the joy of the fall season.

Garden Club gives students the opportunity to make new friends, bond over shared interests, and explore a new hobby all while learning and developing several skills. In the past, members of the Club have made floral crowns, selected house plants for their dorm rooms, visited greenhouses, and made festive pumpkin centerpieces — just to name a few activities.

Colonial Courtyard residents and employees appreciated the fall decorations made and provided by Grier School students as a small gesture to share joy and bring a smile to their faces.

Cathedral to host Vienna Boys Choir

The world-renowned Vienna Boys Choir will appear in concert at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona at 7 p.m. Sunday, October 27. The Vienna Boys Choir’s appearance is the opening of the Cathedral’s 2019-2020 Concerts Under the Dome series. The concert will be free to the public. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m.

Leslie Thayer, director of the cathedral music ministry said the Choir’s tour managers chose to stop in Altoona after reviewing travel plans, “The fact that the boys needed to make a stop in central Pennsylvania because of the length of their travel from Allentown to West Virginia gave us this amazing opportunity. This is an important event for the Cathedral here in Altoona and I’m overjoyed to be part of the experience in bringing the Vienna Boys Choir here.”

The Vienna Boys Choir was formally established at Vienna’s Imperial Chapel in 1498 by Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. Today’s Vienna Boys Choir is comprised of talented young singers from all over the world who are admitted by audition. The choir visiting the U.S. has included boys hailing from Austria, Cambodia, China, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines and the U.S.

Thayer calls the Vienna Boys Choir’s appearance at the Altoona cathedral the continuation of a long tradition among cathedral churches. “Cathedrals throughout history have been places where art has been created and displayed; visual art, stained glass art, specialized musical instruments such as the pipe organ, and the vocal tradition of choirs. Cathedrals have been supporters and benefactors of the arts.”

“Cathedrals and their staffs have always seen the arts as a way of reaching God. People encounter Christ in these performances and in the beauty of the cathedrals themselves,” Thayer said. “This cathedral is maintaining that tradition with the Concerts Under the Dome series, which has been going on for ten years. This is the first time that we have branched out with an international performing group.”

The Vienna Boys Choir, renowned as one of the finest vocal ensembles in the world for over five centuries, is a frequent visitor to North America, performing throughout the country in everything from houses of worship to great concert venues like New York’s Carnegie Hall and Chicago’s Symphony Hall. The enormously popular chorus is actually comprised of four separate ensembles of 23 to 26 boys each, totaling 100 choristers at the Vienna Boys Choir’s school at any given time, all of them between the ages of 10 and 14.

The four choirs are of equal standing, and the Vienna Boys Choir’s tours, concerts in Vienna and audio and video recording projects are shared among them. Each choir has a choirmaster and two tutors who travel with the boys. Approximately 11 weeks of the school year are devoted to touring, and each choir member sings about 80 concerts a year. Many of the boys have siblings, fathers, uncles and even grandfathers who have also been members of the choir.

Some history regarding the Vienna Boys Choir:

The Vienna Boys Choir can trace its history to the 13th century. In 1918, after the breakdown of the Habsburg Empire, the Austrian government took over the court opera, its orchestra and the adult singers, but not the boys’ choir. Josef Schnitt, who became Dean of the Imperial Chapel in 1921, turned the Vienna Boys Choir became a private institution. The former court choir boys became the Wiener Sängerknaben (Vienna Boys Choir); the imperial uniform was replaced by the sailor suit, then the height of boys’ fashion. The choir started to give concerts outside the chapel in 1926, performing motets, secular works, and at the boys’ request, children’s operas. The impact was amazing. Within a year, the choir had performed in Berlin (led by Erich Kleiber), Prague, and Zurich. Athens and Riga followed (1928), then Spain, France, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden (1929), the United States (1932), Australia (1934), and South America (1936). Since 1926, the choir has gone on more than 1000 tours to 100 different countries.

The many incarnations of the group have been performing continuously ever since.

The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament is the seat of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. Altoona’s first permanent Catholic parish was established in 1851, primarily to provide for the spiritual needs of laborers building the Pennsylvania Railroad. The first church, Saint John the Evangelist, served as the Cathedral of the Diocese of Altoona until 1923 when it was razed to make way for the present Cathedral. The cornerstone of the Cathedral was laid in 1926, on the 25th anniversary of the Diocese of Altoona. Construction was halted by the 1929 stock market crash, and the unfinished Cathedral opened for public worship in September 1931.

Over the next 28 years, Bishop Richard Guilfoyle worked to accumulate funds for the Cathedral’s completion. Bishop Guilfoyle died before work could begin. Bishop Howard Carroll began work to complete the Cathedral, but died within a year. His funeral was celebrated in March, 1960 in the nearly completed Cathedral. The Cathedral was formally opened by Bishop Joseph McCormick in November 1960.

Concertgoers may park in the Cathedral lots along 13th Avenue, in the Jones Funeral Home lot at the intersection of 13th Avenue and 13th Street, or in the City Hall parking lot at 14th Avenue and 13th Street. Parking will also be available in a municipal lot at 12th Avenue and 15th Street, or in parking garages located at the intersections of 13th Street and either 11th or 12th Avenues.