Sharon to be site for America Sings

SHARON, Pa. -- As many as 5,000 young people from across the United States are expected to converge on Sharon about one year from now to participate in an America Sings program.
Vic Ellenberger, choral director at Sharon Junior-Senior High School, told the school board Wednesday that Sharon has been selected as one of four America Sings Inc. concert venues in 2004.
It's something he's been trying to bring to Sharon for years, Ellenberger said, noting that he's been taking Sharon students to a number of America Sings programs in the past.
Ellenberger said he's always been bothered by the fact that the number of student singers has been greater than the audiences that turn out to hear them, and he wants to reverse that trend in Sharon on May 15, 2004, the date of a special one-day festival.
He said he envisions a gathering of 10,00 people to hear the singers, who will perform on at least two stages on school grounds, one in Tiger Stadium and one in an open field between the stadium and the junior-senior high school.
About the group
America Sings Inc. is a nonprofit organization formed in 1988 to provide young people involved in the arts with an opportunity to use their talent and time to help others.
Participants at the concerts raise money for homeless children before the event, and some conduct food drives as well, Ellenberger said.
It will cost $100,000 to put on the one-day show in Sharon, but there will be no cost to the school district.
All student participants pay between $30 and $40 each to participate, he said, noting that many groups hold fund-raising events of their own to cover their costs. America Sings crews will handle stages, lights and sound equipment.
America Sings will have four concerts in 2004. The others will be in Long Beach, Calif., St. Louis, Mo., and Atlanta, Ga.
Each participating choir puts on its own song and dance numbers and then all join in a finale performance, Ellenberger said.