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 June 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. The spring semester starts in mid-January.
Andrew Krystopolski, Assistant Director, and Accompanist
A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Andrew began his musical studies on the violin at age 5 and a year later, he began to study piano at the Wilmington Music School. He holds a bachelors degree in Church Music from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he studied organ with Canon Mark Laubach and conducting with Robert Herrema and Jack Warren Burnam. Andrew is a member of The American Guild of Organists, Association of Anglican Musicians, and the Royal School of Church Music. He has lived in the Capital District since June of 2010 and currently works as the Organist & Director of Music at Historic St. George’s Episcopal Church in Schenectady’s Stockade District. He is a regular organist on “Goldie” the Wurlitzer organ at Proctors Theater. When not playing the organ, he enjoys playing the accordion and concertina and singing polka music.
Julie Panke, Artistic 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.
Festival Celebration Choir
Board of Directors
President, Michael Glazier
Vice President, David Hains
Treasurer, Bruce Brynolfson
Secretary, Peggy Drew
Finance, Bruce Brynolfson
Membership, Crescentia Brynolfson
Operations, Kathleen Nelson
Outreach, Donald Drew
Scholarship, Crescentia Brynolfson