A 58 member choir from Budapest, Hungary was brought to Albion, Michigan in 1999. The visit was organized by Isaac Kremer, associated with the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp International Exchange Program. Three weeks before the choir was to arrive in the United States a city they were planning to visit backed out on them. When Isaac found out about this, he started organizing their visit to Albion.
Young men in the choir stayed at Starr Commonwealth. On their first night they had an exciting game of soccer against an Albion youth team. Together the group performed on at least seven occassions during their three day visit in Albion, Marshall, Battle Creek and Lansing. Albion performances were on the steps of the City Hall the day the choir arrived, and in Goodrich Chapel the evening before they left.
The visit culminated with a visit to the State Capitol where members of the choir were each given handsome citations by the State Legislature welcoming them to the United States. In exchange the choir sang a rousing version of Shenandoah and a traditional Hungarian song inside of the State Capitol rotunda. Then after taking a picture on the capitol steps, the choir continued on their tour throughout the country.
Update: On July 2002 Isaac visited Lajos Bartal and members of the choir in Budapest. His hosts offerred gracious hospitality, and the visit was one of his most memorable of his two month trip.
Picture of choir at Cereal City USA in Battle Creek.
Performance at Burnham Brooks senior citizens center in Battle Creek.
Choir at the county building in Marshall, Michigan.
Source: Isaac Kremer, 2003.