Press-Republican

Lifestyles

September 13, 2013

Teen Challenge Choir sings at Westport Church

WESTPORT —  The Teen Challenge Choir, composed of young men from all over the United States, will share stories of their substance-abuse past at Westport Federated Church next week.

The members, all over age 18, are students at Teen Challenge Training Center in Rehrersburg, Pa., a faith-based substance-abuse program with centers around the country.

Teen Challenge helps individuals battle drug and alcohol issues to get their lives back on track. The program also has homes for women and adolescents.

SHARING STORIES

“During our presentation, some of the men in the choir share stories about their lives, a little bit about their background and how they came to the Teen Challenge organization,” said Bob Costanza, the choir director at Teen Challenge.

Costanza has been the director for 23 years and has been on more than 100 tours with the group. He writes all the arrangements and even some of the lyrics.

The group, which now consists of nine members, rehearses every day and goes on a few tours each year, Costanza said.

The Teen Challenge Choir primarily performs at churches but has also sung the national anthem at major and minor league baseball games and has been to 41 states.

CHANGING CHOIR

Every month is a graduation for Teen Challenge students, and every month brings in new potential members, so the choir makeup often changes from month to month, he said.

“We go out and sing every weekend somewhere,” Costanza said. “We do a lot of traveling.

“It’s pretty exciting. We get to travel, we get to meet people, and they get to share their stories of what happened to them and how they’re different now.”

The visit to Westport is part of a two-week tour in Upstate New York and New England, one of the group’s favorite trips, he said.

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