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Largo church choir delays Austrian visit until 1992

The adult choir of Anona United Methodist Church in Largo will not be going to Austria this year after all. The choir, which was invited to participate in the 1991 Salzburg Church Music Festival in Austria in July, has postponed its trip because of scheduling problems of the group's members, said Anona's choir director Randy Allen.

"I was down to three men (planning to go), and that just wouldn't work," Allen said Wednesday. "We will go in 1992."

Allen said the choir had no problem re-scheduling with Educational Travel International (ETI) Concert Tours of Allentown, Pa., which organizes the music tours. "Next year, they will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of the discovery of America and doing (the music of) American composers," Allen said. "That will give us an opportunity to do some major American composers."

Allen said fund-raising also has been slow. The choir has 60 members, but not all will participate. Allen estimated the trip will cost a little more than $2,000 per person, or approximately $100,000. "I would like to pay 50 percent of that, which would be about $50,000," he said. "We are about halfwaythere."

The group has raised money through an art auction, concerts and a Broadway show, Allen said.

Groups from other countries, as well as American choirs, participate in the annual festivals. Each choir performs individually and with the group. Anona was the only Pinellas County choir invited to this year's festival.