Quaker Valley Vocal Ensemble Shines at the 10th Annual Festival of Choirs

The 10th Annual Festival of Choirs takes place this Sunday, November 5, and this year, it promises to be a truly extraordinary celebration of choral music. The Quaker Valley Vocal Ensemble, under the expert guidance of Austin Wolford, will perform at the Carnegie Music Hall of Oakland alongside the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale (PCC) and other talented high school choirs, for an unforgettable evening of music and unity. 


The Festival of Choirs is not only a showcase of young talent and also a platform for nurturing a lifelong passion for singing. This year’s high school students are among more than 1200 guest singers who have performed with the PCC since the Festival of Choir’s inaugural performance in 2012. The festival also contributes to the growth of young singers through its scholarship program. 


This year, the Quaker Valley Vocal Ensemble will share the stage with choirs from Allderdice, Carrick, Burrell, and the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale. Enjoy a wide variety of choral repertoire as each choir presents an individual set.  


“It has been such an honor to be selected for this event and I cannot wait for our students to have an unforgettable experience,” said Quaker Valley High School Director of Choirs, Austin Wolford. “The venue is gorgeous and will have incredible acoustics that many ensembles never get to experience.”  

The grand finale brings all on stage together to perform the world premiere of this year’s Carol and Robert Woody Choral Commission, composed by Shawn Kirchner.  


“It isn’t every day that you get asked to be part of a world premiere composition let alone one featuring the Violins of Hope,” said Wolford. “Working with Dr. Medley and the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale has been incredible, and we are really looking forward to Sunday.” 


In addition to the captivating music, this year's festival has a unique and poignant touch as it partners with Violins of Hope Greater Pittsburgh. This initiative showcases violins played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust, reminding us of the power of music to endure even in the darkest times. Several of these historically significant instruments will be played during the festival's grand finale, creating a profound and deeply moving musical experience. 


The connection between the Festival of Choirs and the Violins of Hope program was made even more special as the Violins of Hope of Pittsburgh recently visited Quaker Valley Middle School and High School on October 16. During their visit, they shared the history of the Violins of Hope program and the importance of music in sustaining hope for Jewish prisoners during the Holocaust. Music students at both schools were given the opportunity to play four violins that had survived the Holocaust, connecting them directly with the resilience and history of these instruments. 


Admission to Sunday’s concert is free. The performance is scheduled to begin at 4:00 PM. Join us on November 5th at the Carnegie Music Hall of Oakland to support the Quaker Valley Vocal Ensemble, the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale, and high school choirs from Allderdice, Carrick, and Burrell. Learn more here: https://www.pccsing.org/pittsburghsings.