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Wednesday, 11 October 2017 15:32

New director named for Lake Junaluska Singers

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Mary Wannamaker Huff has been named the director of the Lake Junaluska Singers, a choral group that has been a part of Lake Junaluska’s history for more than 60 years. Huff, who served as the group’s interim director for the 2017 season, has agreed to lead the Singers for three more seasons.

“I am grateful for the kind welcome and support extended to me this past summer as interim director, and I look forward to extending that welcome and support in song to the Lake Junaluska community — near and far — going forward,” said Huff.

During the summer of 2017, Huff served as interim director of the Lake Junaluska Singers along with associate director Kathy Geyer McNeil. McNeil will also return as associate director. The group of 16 singers performed in more than 25 concerts, worship services and events at Lake Junaluska and other local venues.

“Mary has been a blessing to the Lake Junaluska community through her service as interim director, and we look forward to seeing what great things she will bring to future seasons with the Singers through her passion and expertise,” said Jack Ewing, executive director of Lake Junaluska. “The Singers wowed us with excellent performances this summer and I look forward to seeing the Singers’ legacy carried on under Mary’s leadership.”

Huff lives in New York City with her husband, Andrew Henderson, and two sons, but also owns a home at Lake Junaluska. Having grown up coming to Lake Junaluska with her parents, her connection with Lake Junaluska and her friendship with many residents make her an ideal choice for director of the Lake Junaluska Singers.

She is the founding director of the New York City Children’s Chorus and associate director of Music at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. Her choirs have performed in Carnegie Hall, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Radio City Music Hall, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, as well for national broadcasts on Good Morning America, the TODAY Show, and CBS Sunday Morning. She also plays the organ for liturgies, accompanies and conducts the Church Choir and Saint Andrew Chorale and manages the church concert series.

The Lake Junaluska Singers, along with Huff and McNeil, will return to Lake Junaluska to perform during the Appalachian Christmas celebration, which will take place from Dec. 7-10. During this event, the Singers will join with regional choristers and orchestra members to perform selections from Handel’s Messiah at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, in Stuart Auditorium, and they will perform a Christmas concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, in Stuart Auditorium.

The Lake Junaluska Singers were formed in 1954, and their legacy includes national and international performances for conferences, dignitaries, and major events. Their music ranges from classical choral and contemporary works to gospel, folk, traditional hymns, and musical theater styles.

To learn more about the Lake Junaluska Singers, visit www.lakejunaluska.com/singers.

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