Chorale ‘still shines’


| jlyons@queenscourier.com |

The Floral Park-based The Glenn Mohr Chorale is celebrating 20 years of bringing spiritual music to people throughout the New York area.
Glenn Mohr, the group’s director and founder, has spent most of his life as a choir director and church organist. He was at a parish in Nassau County in 1988 when he decided to move on to another place in Brooklyn.
Although Mohr was leaving the Nassau County parish, the members of the choir still wanted to do something and got the idea of going on a trip to Italy to perform. Mohr said that if they really wanted to go through with it, he would stay on as their director.
“We went to Italy and it was an amazing trip,” said Mohr, who now lives in Douglaston.
The trip took place in May of 1989. About 25 singers went and were joined by some friends and family members for the trip.
During the trip, Mohr was one of about 25 people who met with Pope John Paul II in his apartment one day. Mohr told the Pope that he and his group would be singing for him later that day.
When The Glenn Mohr Chorale started to perform for the Papal audience, Mohr said “the whole place erupted” and he could see the Pope waving and smiling. After the performance had concluded, the Pope started walking around the audience. When he saw Mohr, he said that it was a beautiful choir and a beautiful song.
“Everybody said, ‘how can we let this end now?’ ” Mohr said of the feelings after the trip.
Mohr also said that the endorsement from the Pope was enough for him, so the group decided to stay together. Although the trip was initially a way to say farewell to the group, Mohr said it became much more.
“It turned out to be the beginning of something else,” Mohr said. “It’s really been a lot of fun.”
The group practices about once a week. There are currently about 28 singers, along with some actors and people who do sound and staging, that are a part of The Glenn Mohr Chorale.
As the group began doing more shows, Mohr said that he thought they “could do more than just sing songs.” He and writing partner Frances McNamara, a resident of Flushing, began writing original music and plays for the group to perform. The group now has nine original productions.
Mohr said that he wants people to feel spiritually uplifted and positive after hearing The Glenn Mohr Chorale perform. He also said the group wants to give people new ways to think while entertaining them at the same time.
The group recently came out with a new Christmas album, “A Star Still Shines.” Mohr said that they are already getting significant radio play in various states.
The Glenn Mohr Chorale will perform its show “Christmas in Heaven” at 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 14 at the Immaculate Conception Center, which is located at 7200 Douglaston Parkway in Douglaston.
For more information on the group, including their performance schedule, visit www.glennmohrchorale.com.