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SUNY Plattsburgh Gospel Choir Heads for the Windy City

PLATTSBURGH, NY__ The Gospel Choir at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh will strut their stuff during a series of performances this Columbus Day weekend (Oct. 7 -10) in Chicago, Ill.

"We have been planning this trip for quite some time," said Dr. Dexter Criss, the choir's music director and associate professor of chemistry at SUNY Plattsburgh. "The funding comes from the choir's last year's reserve, the Mayor's Office (City of Plattsburgh), CD sales, the Student Association, President's office, College Auxiliary Services and other donations from the community."

On Saturday, Oct. 8, the group's first stop is to perform live for the Reverend Jesse Jackson's "Rainbow/ PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) Forum" television program. The show will be aired in 38 states on the Word Network (DirecTV channel 373).

From there, the students will have some time to tour the Windy City and will also make an appearance at a local "Neighborhood Festival" and other venues in Chicago.

"Chicago was a good pick because it requires an overnight stay," Criss said. "Whenever we have an overnight stay, the choir grows stronger. It encourages people to look at their differences. And it's just fun."

Sally Urban, the choir's advisor and senior career counselor in the Career Development Center at SUNY Plattsburgh, said she is very excited about the choir's tour.

"The trip will give the College exposure to the Chicago area," Urban said. "When we have traveled on tours in the past, we've met students who have become interested in Plattsburgh State."

The Gospel Choir, which was established in 1991, has grown tremendously and now has a current membership of 60. Since 1991, the group has sung at about 20 performances each year, including on campus, in the local community and throughout the region.

Going on tours isn't something new with the choir. For the past three years, the group has performed in Albany, New York City, Montreal, Toronto and Tokyo.

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