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Delawareans to sing for Pope Francis in Philadelphia this weekend

Joe Ambrosino
The papal choir in rehearsal

A First State teacher is among 28 Delawareans selected to sing in the 500-person papal choir that will perform for Pope Francis in Philadelphia this weekend.

Each singer went through a rigorous audition process to show their range and demonstrate their ability to read music and match pitches.

For the past few months, Joe Ambrosino, a music teacher at Downes Elementary School in Newark has been rehearsing masterworks by Beethoven, Mozart, and Mendelssohn.

“The music is just so uplifting,” he says. “Here they are writing these pieces that are just the greatest expression of their faith and then we get to share that, so on so many levels, it's very exciting.”

Ambrosino was notified of his selection this summer. He says that after hearing of driving restrictions in Philadelphia, he was worried about how he would get into the city for the concert.

“And then I got an email a couple of days later,” he says. “It said, ‘don’t worry, about three days before the concert, the secret service will call you,’ so they're going to pick up all the people in Delaware and take us up through the security perimeter and deliver us safely to the Pope.”

The papal concert is Sunday on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

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