September 20, 2011

Saying Good Bye to First Presbyterian Church ~ Saying Hello to The Academy of Vocal Arts

Lyric Fest was created because of First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. Nine years ago the church acquired a 9-foot Steinway Grand, which the congregation beautifully restored, thereby making a serious commitment to music. With this instrument as an impetus, Lyric Fest was founded as a year-round festival of song.  First Presbyterian, with its decades-long love and appreciation of music-making and with discriminatingly high standards, inspired us to make this fantastic venue our home.

The support of the staff and members of FPC has been overflowing which has been a pivotal part of our success! In addition to our very faithful audience and donor base, we would like to offer our special thanks to those who helped us the most at The First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia:  Rev. Jesse Garner, Rev. Mindy Huffstetler, Andrew Senn, Bill Leonard, Allan Schimmel and Noble Thompson.

Now, as we approach our 10th Anniversary (a scant year away) we have a wonderful opportunity to move to a new home, The Academy of Vocal Arts.

In so many ways, this move makes sense for Lyric Fest.  AVA is internationally known as the only full scholarship, opera-specific training institution; it has a wonderful, intimate theatre specifically built for music performance.  Seating 180 – 200, it is a perfect size for our audiences.  AVA also has a stage, lights, and has video and audio recording equipment at the ready.

Aside from continuing to hire AVA young artists as we have, we are completely independent of the AVA operations.  We are very grateful to AVA for allowing us use of the Helen Corning Warden Theater as our new, main downtown Philadelphia venue.

We feel very positive and excited about this move, even as we have heavy hearts to leave the place that gave us our beginning.

We want to encourage everyone at FPC to continue staying a part of Lyric Fest and hope to see you all soon at The Academy of Vocal Arts, just two blocks away, at 1920 Spruce Street!

Suzanne, Randi and Laura

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