AK Gracias Choir Christmas in October

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first_imgThat’s a traditional South of the border tune, but don’t be surprised that the singers are not Mexican. They’re actually Korean.The Gracias Choir Christmas Cantata will occur in Anchorage Oct. 4 and 5. (Photo courtesy of Gracias Choir)The Gracias Choir originated in South Korea and is affiliated with the International Youth Foundation, a Christian based, but non-denominational non profit that works with youth around the world. It is a lavish stage production, with acts centered on the traditional story of Jesus’ birth. The program presents simple solos of well known Christmas songs, too, along with thundering renditions of Handel’s best known work.According to their site, “The Gracias Christmas Cantata is a show-stopping musical experience that has amazed audiences all across America since 2011. From LA to NYC and everywhere in between.” (Photo courtesy of Gracias Choir)There are 120 people in the orchestra and choir, and every one of them is a volunteer. The tour and stage production are fully funded through donations.The whole choir joins in the special Christmas concert. Choir member Gyunsoo Park said “everyone puts their whole heart into it to come up with ideas for the show”Julie Pak said the choir sends a powerful message to young people.“This choir didn’t start off professionally,” Pak said. “They started in a small room with 9 people. They wanted to bring joy to people’s hearts through this music. And they had the one dream that they could be one day the world’s best choir. They are the world’s best choir.”She said going toward a dream with determination can fulfill that dream.The Gracias Choir Christmas Cantata show plays October 4 and 5 at Alaska Center for the Performing Arts in Anchorage. The show is free, but get there early, as it is first come first serve. “As volunteers of this organization, we go to Mexico to teach English camps,” Pak said. “I myself have been to Mexico five times, to teach English, and this year will be my sixth time on winter break to do these camps.”Julie said her link to IYF is through an Anchorage church.So the Mexico-Korea connection resulted in the choir’s name Gracias, which means “Thank you” in Spanish.“They are called the Gracias Choir because they sing out of their hearts because they want to bring joy to other people,” Pak said.Volunteers, like Pak, have been passing out free tickets, and brochures to advertise the upcoming Anchorage performance. The October show is all about the Christmas seasoncenter_img The world’s best choir is planning a free concert in Anchorage Oct. 4 and 5. The Gracias Choir and Orchestra brings a bit of Christmas flavor to Alaska in October, and the family-friendly show depends on a network of enthusiastic volunteers to make it happen.Listen nowThe award winning Gracias Choir (Photo courtesy of Gracias Choir)Julie Pak has got her running shoes on. The UAA student is one of the volunteer organizers helping to produce the Gracias Choir show at Anchorage’s Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, and she dashed from a late class to publicize the event. Pak can’t help but blurt out that the choir took first place in last year’s choral competition in Germany“They have never won second place,” Pak said. “It’s always been first place prize. Last year, it was the biggest choral competition in Germany, and this was the most prestigious choir competition from all over the world. And the Gracias choir won the grant prize in Germany, out of all the choirs, and that is why we are able to say boldly, they are the world’s best choir.”Awards from Italy, Switzerland and South Korea are on the choir’s wall as well. When you think Gracias Choir.. think TV’s Glee with lush sets, brilliant costumes and unbounded youthful energy on an international scale.last_img

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