The Festival Celebration Choir is an ecumenical choral ensemble of mixed voices dedicated to the joy of singing music in praise of God. Founded in 1985, members of the choir represent many different churches throughout the Capital Region. The Festival Celebration Choir offers two major concerts each year, held in May and December.  The choir often sings at ecumenical events, benefit concerts, and at nursing/rehabilitation facilities.

The choir rehearses on Mondays from 7 to 9:15 pm at First Lutheran Church, 181 Western Avenue, Albany. The Fall semester starts the Monday after Labor Day. Join us for our Fall semester!


Julie Panke, Music Director

Julie has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, where she trained at the Lawrence Conservatory of Music, and a Master of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She served as Director of Music at the First Reformed Church of Schenectady for seventeen years and previously served churches in Albany, Burnt Hills, and Glenville. Ms. Panke also directs the Thursday Musical Club, a thirty-voice women’s chorus based in Schenectady and Capital Community Voices, a 60-voice mixed chorus based in East Greenbush. She is a member of the American Choral Directors Association and American Guild of Organists. She was a founding officer and former Executive Director of the Electronic Music Foundation. In 2015 she was named a Woman of Achievement by the YWCA of Northeastern New York.


Daniel White, Assistant Director

Daniel White, our assistant director, is a recent graduate from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, having received a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education. He performed as a member of the College of Saint Rose Masterworks Chorale, Chamber Singers, Men’s Glee Club, Madrigal Singers, and the Mixed Vocal/Instrumental Chamber Ensemble. He is currently working as the K-5 General Music and 4th Grade Chorus Teacher in at Schoharie Elementary School. Outside of school, he serves as a Baritone at Saint John’s Lutheran Church in Albany and teaches private piano lessons to students in the Capital Region. In the free time that he has, Daniel enjoys playing piano, whether he’s playing solo, or accompanying All-County Festivals around the Capital Region.

Festival Celebration Choir

Board of Directors

Voting Members
Diane Chandler
Susan DiFiore
Don Drew
Dan Rogers
Albert Yasus
Officers of the Board
President, Michael Glazier
Vice President, Susan DiFiore
Treasurer, Bruce Brynolfson
Secretary, Peggy Drew
Standing Committee Chairs
Finance, Bruce Brynolfson
Membership, Crescentia Brynolfson
Operations, Donald Drew
Outreach, Donald Drew
Ad Hoc Committee Chairs
Scholarship, Crescentia Brynolfson