History of the
Founded in 1984 at the Youthtime Christian Center in Buffalo by Douglas D. Wendt, the Festival Chorus is the principal performing unit of the Christian Foundation for the Performing Arts (CFPA). Our volunteers hail from dozens of churches in many denominations, but are united by a desire to express their faith and their love for their country, community, and Lord through glorious vocal music.
We have performed in many venues: concert halls, churches, nursing homes, and at special ceremonies at Forest Lawn Cemetery. We have accompanied Jerome Hines of the Metropolitan Opera, the United States Naval Academy Men’s Glee Club, and gospel artists Steve Green, Larnelle Harris, Alvin Slaughter, and Doug Oldham. We have performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lockport Community Band, the Cheektowaga Community Symphony Orchestra, the Cheektowaga Community Chorus, and the American Legion Band of the Tonawandas. We have shared the stage with the Chautauqua Children’s Choir, the Morgan Street Stompers, the Jubilation Ringers, St. Joe’s Swing Choir, Grand Island High Madrigal Singers, the Handbell Choir of Lancaster Presbyterian Church, the Gaslight Theatre Company, Daybreak, Cornerstone, and Buffalo Swing. The Festival Chorus has performed in a number of “Glory of Christmas” and “American Celebration” concerts, “Musical Memories” concerts with the Lockport Community Band, at the Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls, and at the World University Games. Recently, the chorus has partnered with the Middleport Community Choir and has been featured at the Niagara Power baseball games.
The Festival Chorus offers music from a range of styles including: Classical, Traditional Christian, Gospel, Contemporary Christian, Patriotic, American Folk and Spiritual, and Broadway Show Tunes.
Heather Lovelace has a degree in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia where she studied voice with Dr. Margaret Kuhl and Dr. Gerald Gray. She also has a Masters degree in Music Technology from Duquesne University (PA).
Heather has began teaching in 2005 and her education experience spans grades K – 12. She is currently the director of choirs at Depew High School and founder of the Digital Music Production program. Her choirs have earned Gold at NYSSMA evaluations. Heather is also very active in promoting the use of technology in the music classroom. She has given presentations throughout Western New York at various schools, the NYSSMA state conference and the regional NYSCATE conference and has received special recognition from the Erie County Music Educators Association for her innovative teaching style.
In addition to her 20+year membership in the CFPA Festival Chorus, which she has directed since 2012, Heather has performed with several choirs in Western New York. She was the founding director of the Genesee Children’s Chorus and has been a guest conductor for several All County Ensembles, in Genesee, Erie, Allegheny, and Franklin counties. She currently serves as the Director of Music at St. Katharine Drexel in Buffalo. Heather has also served as a member of the French Horn section of The Lockport Union Band AFM Local 98, as well as several community ensembles. Currently, Heather resides in Akron with her husband, Marcus, and their furbabies.