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posted: 1/31/2013 11:22 AM

Naperville singers ask those affected by cancer to be 'Voices of Hope'

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Naperville Menís Glee Club submission

The Naperville Men's Glee Club is organizing what it calls "NMGC Voices of Hope," a short-term volunteer chorus of men and women touched by cancer.

The community outreach project is part of the club's 25th anniversary commemoration and will involve area singers coming together to inspire hope and experience the rewards of musical performance.

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Cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, family members and other singers are invited to join and experience the fellowship which develops through song. There is no cost to participate.

The chorus will start weekly one-hour rehearsals at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at The Church of The Brethren, 1020 W. Jefferson Ave., Naperville.

The concert is at 3 p.m. April 28 at Wentz Concert Hall on the campus of North Central College in downtown Naperville. The Boys Choir from The Young Naperville Singers also will perform. Ticket information will be available in April.

Conductor Bonnie Klee Roberts will lead "Voices of Hope" along with Assistant Director Steven Schroeder Jr.

"There will be a wide variety of four-part music for the group to sing in the first rehearsal," Roberts said. "We'll see what 'clicks' for them and what doesn't. There will be only nine rehearsals after the first one and we want to be sure we will have a powerful concert on April 28."

"It's important for people to understand this concert is not intended to be a fundraiser for cancer," Roberts said. "The purpose is to gather people who have, or have had a role in the fight against cancer and to provide an opportunity for them to feel the inspiration, thrill and deep affection for life that comes through weekly group singing.

"It's the opportunity to do something new, and we want to share the sense of renewal that comes from participating in rehearsals together. NMGC is using this project to say 'Thank you' for 25 years of fabulous community support -- here's something we'd like to share as evidence of our gratitude. The money we have raised and will continue to look for provides this opportunity at absolutely no cost to the singers."

The Glee Club is expecting a chorus of more than 200 men and women. Many already have enrolled but interested singers may signup at www.nmgc.org or attend the Feb. 23 rehearsal. Additional information is available by calling (630) 448-0518.

The "NMGC Voices of Hope" project is supported, in part, by the Naperville SECA Fund, The Illinois Arts Council, The DuPage Community Foundation and Genentech.

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