Here’s what our audience has been saying about VOICES OF HOPE:

“Just want to let you know how much we enjoyed Sunday evening. It was a fantastic event and so much more than I had expected. I’m already looking forward to next year!”

Colleen Stoltzfus, Lancaster, PA


“Elegance, laughter, genuine artistry performed by world class singers & YES in Lancaster!  Madeline Bender and friends, superb artists of songs, created an evening of glorious music from a colorful repertoire.  Encore please!

Rebecca Achenbach, Voice teacher
Lancaster, PA

“I am always amazed, even having attended each concert, how new and fresh the experience is each time.  The artists that Madeline invites and songs she and Tim Long choose weave the voices that come together for that night into a marvelously different tapestry each time.  Whether you remember one thread of a voice or a whole pattern of an aria, you come away awed and warmed by the beauty of it all, even on a cold winter evening.”

Grant Rissler, Richmond, VA


“I am not what you would call an opera fan, but each time I have been amazed by the incredible talent and the performances.  Well worth the price of the ticket alone, the fact that it goes to support the educational needs of children makes it even better.”

Jeffrey J. Worley, Lancaster, PA

“Two years ago, my husband and I made the drive from Washington, D.C. to Lancaster to attend the MCC Global Family Opera Gala.  We weren’t sure what to expect, other than an evening of great music in support of a fantastic organization.  We were blown away by the experience, and immediately made plans to return the following year (which we did).  The concerts are a perfect blend of humor, stunning musical talent, adorable children, and a good cause that make the drive well worth every minute.  It is a wonderful way to experience beautiful, high caliber singing in a very down-to-earth, approachable way.  I could not recommend the experience more, and look forward to returning for the third year this January.”  –  Karen Minatelli, Washington DC

“Director Tim Long’s engaging introductions make the evening’s Opera selections come alive for the enthusiast and novice alike. VOICES OF HOPE brings to Lancaster the most “listenable” of Operatic selections performed by seasoned vocalists.  Sprinkled with Broadway and Classic pieces, this evening of entertainment and charity is truly “Music to ones ears and heart”. VOICES is a marriage of great music, professional musicians giving of their talent and the lasting charity of MCC’s program of education for children.  There is no better way to spend a January evening.

Don Horning, Lancaster, PA

“I am not really an opera guy, so I can’t really give you a good reason why Madeline and her friends performances captivate me so.  Is it because Madeline came from here?  Is it because it is obvious we are witnessing art being performed at a very, very high level?  Is it because they somehow make an opera performance even (gasp) FUNNY at times?  I think it is all of these.  Simply, we are lucky Madeline chooses to keep returning to Lancaster.  Oh- and for a good cause as well!”

Patrick Leaman, Lancaster, PA


“We had the wonderful pleasure to attend the MCC Global Family Opera Gala in January 2011 in Lancaster, PA.  It was a fabulous evening of beautiful singing.  To have such talented opera singers performing together with a mission to provide educational opportunities for children around the world, was very memorable.  The singers were very outstanding and exuded a genuine joy in performing together. The variety of music was well balanced and, having local children and youth contribute to the performance, was delightful.

The Fulton Opera House was a spectacular venue for the event.

Thanks to all of the performers and workers who make the annual event possible.  It is well worth the travel to get there and enjoying the ambiance of Lancaster, is an added benefit.”

Linda Shank, Charlottesville, VA


“My wife and I have attended performances in most of the world’s opera houses, and have heard many international stars. We were astounded at the consistently high quality of the Lancaster Fundraiser concert. Not only were we surprised to find such luminaries among the singers, but we were particularly impressed by the smooth continuity of the concert, guided with virtuosic dexterity by the pianist and raconteur, and by the warmth of the audience response. Clearly this was a caring and connected community, who filled the impressive local theatre with a wonderful harmonized chorale. The charitable purpose of the enterprise was obviously inspirational to both performers and audience – a magnificent example of art being employed not just for its own sake, but at the service of humanity.

We hope that this unique flowering of vocal talent will be supported long into the future – it reflects huge credit on all involved.”

Don & Beris Whelan, Christchurch, New Zealand

“We have attended The Global Family Benefit for the last 2 years, and have been so impressed with the high level of operatic talent.   In addition, the inclusion of young people and children in the program, have made it a particularly unique and inspirational event.  We are grateful that so many talented individuals would donate their time and gifts to benefit such a worthy cause. The highlight last year, was the inclusion of the audience’s voices as part of the finale!”

Anthony and Janet Foderaro, Schwenksville, PA

“When I lived in New York, one of my housemates studied opera. That year I waited in line eight times in the cold underground parking garage at the Metropolitan Opera for a $20 ticket to stand through performances of La Traviata, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte and La Bohème.

Voices of Hope is more comfortable, and shorter. It’s a thoughtful sampling of stunning arias, often from vocalists who sing on the Met stage. It also costs more than $20, and this is why:

Not only are you enjoying great art in central Pennsylvania, you’re educating the next generation of musicians (and accountants, mechanics, nurses, teachers and business leaders) around the world.

Global Family ( gave 45,000 children a quality education last year. With the help of Voices of Hope, we’re on track to transform even more young lives this year. That is success worth singing about!”

Lowell Brown, Global Family coordinator
Lancaster, PA