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2017 Children’s Choir Festival

Sunday,  March 26, 2017

Heather Lovelace, Conductor

Ss. Peter and Paul Church

5480 Main Street, Williamsville


The 2017 Children's Choir Festival was held on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at Ss. Peter and Paul Church in Williamsville. Heather Lovelace was the conductor. See video highlights below.

bulletSiyhamba/We Are Marching - Cherub Choir.
bulletHere I Am to Worship - Christopher Walker - Cherub Choir.
bulletJesus You are Bread for Us - Cherub Choir.
bulletSoon and Very Soon - Cherub Choir.
bulletDeo Gracias - Natalie Sleeth HMC 889 - Youth Choir.
bulletPanis Angelicus Lambillotte - Youth Choir
bulletThis Little Light of Mine 2 part-Mabry - Youth Choir.
bulletDona Nobis Pacem - Richard Clark- Cherub and Youth Choirs.


For a preview of this year's festival:

Check out this video of WNYB-TV's Celebrate program's interview of CMG Children's Choir Festival Chairperson Gail Shepherd. Gail talked about the Children's Choir Festival on Sunday, March 26, 2017. Members of Gail's Children's Choir from SS. Peter & Paul Parish of Williamsville performed.



Check out the great coverage of this exciting event in the WNY Catholic!


Children’s Choir Festival

Sunday,  March 30, 2014

Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 5:00 pm

St. Thomas Aquinas R.C. Church

450 Abbott Rd., Buffalo

The 2014 Children's Choir Festival sponsored by the Church Musicians Guild took place on Sunday, March 30 at 5:00 pm at St. Thomas Aquinas R.C. Church in Buffalo. The Festival celebrated the beautiful rhythm of the church liturgical year with seasonal offerings sung by children and guest artists. Musical selections reflected a variety of styles including chant, canon, hymnody and gospel.

Some highlights from the 2014 festival:

Any questions? Contact Melissa Herr at (716) 836-1084 or


Children’s Choir Workshop

February 2, 2013


A beautiful, dedicated choral-rehearsal room was the setting on a very snowy Saturday, February 2 (Candlemas Day) for a Children’s Choir Workshop hosted by Diane Green, organist and choir director at Kenmore Presbyterian Church. This event, sponsored by our own Church Musician’s Guild, was planned in our continuing effort to promote and support the growth and development of children’s choirs in Western New York. With six directors of children’s choirs in attendance, fifteen choristers were placed into the loving and capable hands of clinician Sue Fay Allen, founder and director of Amherst Bel Canto Choirs. Ms. Allen worked with the children for a full two hours, devoting a portion of her time to passing along some tips to those of us who work with children’s choirs, all based upon her years of experience in the field of music education.

The morning consisted of instruction in good posture, breath control, choral warm-ups, diction and articulation, and presentation. Sounds complicated, but in Ms. Allen’s capable hands, she made it all look and sound very natural and easy. The children were enthusiastic and responsive to her expert direction, even presenting what they had learned (in a very short time) as a little “concert” to parents or caregivers who had come to pick them up. The pieces selected for use in the workshop were as follows:


Jubilate Deo Praetorius  
A Canon of Praise Natalie Sleeth CGA79
Easter Song John D. Horman CGA768
Ain’- a That Good News? spiritual, arr. by Mark Patterson CGA1029

The three octavos are available from Chorister’s Guild at (800) 246-7478 ext. 231.

We look forward to continuing to hold worthwhile events such as this in promoting children’s choirs. Next is our Children’s Choir Festival tentatively scheduled for Sunday, March 30, 2014, location to be determined. Watch this space for details.


Children’s Choir Festival

Sunday,  April 22, 2012

The Church Musicians Guild of Buffalo held a beautiful Children's Choir Festival on April 22 featuring children representing six area parishes performing songs carefully selected to highlight the seasons of the church calendar year.

The event included choirs from Blessed John the XXIII-West Seneca, Our Lady Help of Christians-Cheektowaga, St. Andrew-Kenmore, St. Leo the Great-Amherst, St. Martin-Buffalo and SS. Peter and Paul-Williamsville. The groups joined together to present a program of choral music ranging from chant to an American Spiritual, under the direction of Mr. William Fay.

Also included on the program were the Royalton Ringers, a handbell quartet. In addition, CMG organ scholarship winners William Freeman, Peter Gonciarz and Joel Kumro played the historic Schlicker organ.

The magnificent Buffalo Religious Arts Center was the venue. The B.R.A.C. is housed in the former St. Francis Xavier Church which has been converted into a museum. Beautiful artifacts collected from the many churches which have closed are stored and displayed there.  It is a beautiful building, perfect for concerts, full of art and history.

A Message from Festival Director Melissa Herr:

I write this in the afterglow of a beautiful afternoon of prayer and song. My heartfelt thanks go to choir directors Carolyn Liarakos, Joel Kumro, Allison Dulanski, CMG president Gail Shepherd, and conductor Bill Fay. Thanks to Mary Holland of BRAC for coordinating our use of this beautiful facility, to organists William Freeman, Peter Gonciarz, and Joel Kumro, and to Royalton Ringers Diane and Michael Dick & Marie and Tim Socha. Thanks to all the adult volunteers who served refreshments to the children and supervised their breaks. An event of this magnitude cannot happen without the care and support of many…thank-you to anyone I didn’t mention by name.

The success of this event is obvious in the minds and hearts of all who attended. I invite you to ponder with me for a moment the graces given and received that are a little less measurable…the boy who stayed with his parish children’s choir but didn’t really sing or focus—he mostly attended because his mom wanted him to. This boy didn’t take his eyes off of Bill Fay and sang his little heart out! His mom, with tears in her eyes, told me that they were considering giving up choir next year, but have a renewed enthusiasm for it. There was the little group from Bill’s parish, Blessed John XXIII, who arrived early and started singing the repertoire 15 minutes before the rehearsal began—in full voice! There were the singers from Joel’s parish, Our Lady Help of Christians, who caught up with me during the break and wanted to have a conversation about music, practicing, and playing the piano. There was the little girl of about 7 who went skipping down the aisle when it was all over and said with unbridled joy “This was fun!” These are the moments that will live forever in my heart. Along with all the talk about the next festival…

Some highlights from the 2012 festival:

Festival Choir fills the BRAC with music.


Festival program.


Bill Fay conducts the choir.


The Royalton Ringers perform.


Diane & Michael Dick, Marie & Tim Socha of the Royalton Ringers.


The beautiful sights and sounds of the Buffalo Religious Arts Center.


Organist Peter Gonciarz.


Organist Joel Kumro.


CMG Buffalo President Gail Shepherd.


Conductor Bill Fay.



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