After an impressive 38 years of entertaining Vestal and surrounding communities, the Vestal Community Chorus has closed its songbook for the very last time.

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The decision to disband was not an easy one but the group realized that due to declining membership and no accompanist, there was no way the Chorus could continue.

Vestal Community Chorus was founded by the late Barbara Press in 1985 and through the years, the Chorus has received accolades not only from the Vestal community but from neighboring communities, and for many, attending the winter holiday concert was a family tradition.

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December 12, 2015, was declared "Barbara Press Day" by the then Town of Vestal Supervisor. Additional proclamations were also issued by former Broome County Executive Debbie Preston, Senator Fred Akshar, and Governor Andrew Cuomo.

To honor the Vestal Community Chorus one last time, past members gathered to celebrate the group's impressive 38-year run. Memories were shared and to close out the gathering, the group, to the surprise of Director Lea Harding, gathered to sing "Holly Jolly Christmas" the customary finale song of each of the winter holiday concerts the group performed.

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A piece of the Vestal Community Chorus will live on in other choral groups as director Lea Harding was able to donate sheet music to the Endwell Community Chorus, Maine-Endwell High School Choral Department, and Good Shepherd Fairview Home.

Director Harding said, "It has been a wonderful experience being a part of the Vestal Community Chorus" and also noted that being able to pass on sheet music was a beautiful gift and all three of the beneficiaries stated that "receiving the music felt very much like an early Christmas gift."

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