Ars Choralis, the Woodstock-based choir directed by Barbara Pickhardt, presented a luminous evening of choral music on October 21 to benefit the Ulster Immigrant Defense Network.
Songs of hope, vision, and solidarity alternated with four young immigrants telling their stories of coming to the US. Each story was different, but all spoke of the struggles endured by their families, their respect and gratitude to their parents, their commitment to education, and their determination to give back to the communities that have welcomed them.
Rabbi Jonathan Kligler of the Woodstock Jewish Congregation and Professor John Meehan of Vassar College read statements from US presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama celebrating the role that immigrants have always played in this country. Father Frank Alagna of Holy Cross Santa Cruz hosted the evening, which took place at Pointe of Praise in Kingston.
The UIDN is deeply grateful to Barbara Pickhardt and her wonderful singers; to Pastor Childs and the congregation of Pointe of Praise; to the young speakers, Zuleima Cabrera, Diana Cruz, Carlos Cuellar, and Alejandro M Duran Sanchez; and to all who came in generous support of immigrants.
Photos by Susan Lehrer