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Graham’s Music Director Enjoys Job

June 27, 2002

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CINCINNATI (AP) _ The man in charge of coordinating 4,000 volunteers for the choir at the Rev. Billy Graham’s appearances this week says the job isn’t as difficult as it may seem.

The volunteers’ zeal to provide the vocal accompaniment makes the job easier, said Cliff Barrows, Graham’s music director for more than 50 years.

``They’re interested and their attention is really riveted, and that’s the basis of getting anything accomplished,″ he said. ``I’d rather have 100 volunteers than 200 paid professionals, because you have their hearts when you have their volunteer commitment.″

The choir for the Graham Mission’s four-day event that begins on Thursday in Cincinnati was organized through 700 churches. The singers are to perform on three nights of the event at Paul Brown Stadium.

For the first of three rehearsals, thousands of singers from 13 _ the age minimum requirement _ into their 80s streamed into the Tri-County Assembly of God in suburban Fairfield during the first week of June.

Barrows led them though the official songbook of 14 songs, including ``Victory in Jesus,″ ``How Great Thou Art,″ ``Shout to the Lord″ and ``Just As I Am.″

``I tell them if they start together and end together, it doesn’t much matter what happens in between, because folks won’t remember that,″ he said. ``But they remember the beginning and the ending.″

Barrows, 79, also led the choir for Graham’s 1977 crusade appearance in Cincinnati.

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