Baha'i News -- Two women chosen to sing in New York

Two women chosen to sing in New York

Macomb Daily photo by Craig Gaffield
Charlotte Wellman of Clinton Township, who was selected to sing at Carnegie Hall on June 30 in the Baha'i Faith Concert Choir, exercises her vocal chords.

All around the globe, phone lines were abuzz with the sounds of music. People from dozens of countries were auditioning to sing in an international choir. It was those calls that put two local women on the road to Carnegie Hall.

Charlotte Wellman of Clinton Township and Dr. Paula Drewek of Warren have been selected to sing June 30 in Manhattan as the Voices of Baha' in the Baha'i Faith Concert Choir.

Produced by Global Music, the event will be a component of A Baha'i Festival of the Arts that takes place June 26 to July 2.

It was Wellman who heard of the audition opportunity at an October convention. And while she has had classical music training, it has been a while since she has used her talent.

A soprano, Wellman considers herself a natural. She hit the high notes as she sang "Amazing Grace" for her audition; and reading music is second nature to her.

That natural ability will come in handy for the Selfridge Air National Guard Base retiree when the music sheets arrive in the mail. Choir members are expected to memorize all of the material before they rehearse at Carnegie Hall.

The music is first sent to those who live in the more remote parts of the world and then to the rest of the members.

Choir members are expected to practice as well as exercise their vocal chords for 30 minutes a day.

That shouldn't be a problem for Drewek. She gets plenty of practice with her home-based choir, the Metropolitan Detroit Choral.

Drewek, a professor of Humanities at Macomb Community College's South Campus, has had extensive training throughout her college career.

She didn't hesitate when she learned of the phone audition.

"I thought, well, this is right up my alley," she said.

The last time Drewek was at Carnegie Hall, she was in the audience. While walking in the balcony, she vividly remembers feeling that she would fall.

But on stage, she is confident and is sure she'll have a secure spot -- in the last row.

"I'm usually placed in the back," Drewek said, commenting on her height, which is 6 feet, 3 inches tall.

And while the two women will be perfecting their voices to unite with the diverse choir, they still plan on having fun.

Both are avid art goers, and are hoping to do some sightseeing and catch some plays.

"I haven't been there for about five years, and I'm really looking forward to it," Drewek said.

Drewek and Wellman will harmonize alongside 550 other singers from around the world.

For more information on the Baha'i Faith Concert Choir or the festival, visit

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