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Swiss Echoes concert, dance set for Oct. 23

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POSTED October 17, 2010 2:23 a.m.
RIPON – The San Joaquin Valley Swiss Echoes, dressed in their traditional Swiss attire, will present their Fall Concert and Dance Saturday, Oct. 23, at the Swiss Club hall in Ripon located on the corner of East Main Street and Manley Road.

They will be performing songs and yodels from their homeland, Switzerland, under the direction of Agnes Litfin Olmsted, and accompanied on the piano by Mary Monroe, both of Stockton. The 35 members of the Swiss Echoes come from surrounding areas of Brentwood, Elk Grove, Escalon, French Camp, Galt, Oakdale, Manteca, Modesto, Ripon, Stockton, Sacramento, and Turlock. They rehearse weekly at the Swiss Hall in Ripon.

Special guest performers will be the Golden Gate Boys Choir. The young boy singers come from regional areas of Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties. Founded in 1988, the choir rehearses in different Bay area locations. The director of the choir since its foundation is the talented Mr. Steven Meyer whose grandfather, John Meyer, founded the San Joaquin Valley Swiss Echoes Club in 1947. Meyer is also the music director and organist at St. Vincent de Paul Church in San Francisco.

The Golden Gate Boys Choir conducts rehearsals and provides concert performances during the academic year, and also sponsors an annual two-week summer music camp for member boys and interested day campers. The choir has sung at the United Nations in New York, at the White House and Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as well as at the Swiss Bundeshaus in Bern, Switzerland, and Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Older boys, whose voices have changed, can continue in the program as bellringers, tenors, and basses, until they graduate from high school.

The choir will participate in the Rome Congress of the International Catholic Boys Choir Federation called Pueri Cantores, in December, and will sing with 5,000 other boys at the Papal Mass on Jan. 1, 2011 at St. Peter’s Basilica. From there, the boys will continue for another week in Italy, singing exchange concerts with Italian groups in Perugia, Assisi and Lucca.

After the concert, the boys will have several different CDs available for purchase, proceeds of which will assist them in their effort to raise funds needed for their trip in December. For additional information about the Golden Gate Boys Choir, visit their web site at

The Ripon concert program will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m. The Ed Inderbitzin Orchestra will be playing Swiss tunes for visitors’ dancing pleasure right after the concert.

Advance ticket sales for the dinner, concert and dance are available for purchase at $20 each. These pre-sold tickets are available from any Swiss Echoes member, or you may call Heidi Betschart (Modesto, 209/531-2577), JoAnn Kaufmann (Stockton, 209/951-6674, or Marie Schallberger (Lodi, 209/369-2546.

Only concert and dance tickets can be purchased at the door for $10 each. Children under the age of 16 are admitted free of charge to the concert and dance.

A delicious wurst medley (a variety of sausages) dinner will be served by the club before the concert, from 6 to 7 p.m.

Deadline for advance tickets to the dinner, concert and dance is Tuesday, Oct. 19. Seating is limited so those who want to attend all three events are encouraged to buy their tickets early.

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