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Choir's back in Ellsworth with spirited singing, food shelf support

ELLSWORTH -- A growing group of gospel singers returns to Ellsworth this Sunday for another concert benefiting the Pierce County Food Shelf.

"The Travelin' Shoes Gospel Choir" now numbers approximately 70 members, Director Dave Zahn said earlier this month. The group was here in a similar capacity just over a year ago, when the membership was around 50.

"We've grown considerably," Zahn said, noting the choir began with 23 members.

Besides hearing from the original and additional singers, Sunday's audience at St. Francis Catholic Church, 231 Woodworth St., is invited to a spaghetti supper. The supper will be served at 5 p.m., before the concert at 6:30 p.m.; a free will offering for the food shelf will be taken.

The choir's growth means the 61 robes initially donated to the organization are no longer sufficient, the director said. The self-supporting group is seeking funds to attire all members, along with maintaining a state-of-the-art sound system, while not siphoning any monies away from the causes it's supported.

"We were thought of as a regional choir at first, but now we're in a bigger league," Zahn said about the singers, who perform seven or eight times annually, are comprised of several nationalities and have expanded to represent the music of flute, trumpet, guitar and bass.

"It's very entertaining and inspirational," he said of their hour-plus-long performances, but it's not a church choir.

"We don't preach ... we tell stories," he said, describing the members, ranging in age from 15 to the late 70s, as "good-natured."

Read more in the print version of the Pierce County Herald April 2.