Outstanding performances by a symphony and some of the best choirs in the state of Sao Paulo were enthusiastically received during a recent important civic celebration held at the Sao Paulo Ipiranga Stake Center.

More than 800 people cheered the performance of the noted Military Police Choir, under the direction of maestro Maj. Joao Antao Fernandez; and performances of the Symphonic Musical Band and the Lyric Municipal Choir of Sao Paulo.The groups were performing at the 167th anniversary of Brazil's independence, and for the 405 years of existence of the Ipiranga District, said Demar Stanicia, Brazil public communications director.

The concert included classical works from Verdi, Wagner, Toscanini, Ravel and others, he said.

The concert was sponsored by the Ipiranga Commission. The commission selected the stake meetinghouse for the performance because it is within 500 yards of where Brazilian patriot, Dom Pedro I, first gave the shout, "Liberty or Death," on Sept. 22, 1822, thus declaring Brazil independent from Portugal.

Dom Pedro I was ruler of Brazil and the son of the Portuguese king, John IV. In defiance of the local governing body, Dom Pedro traveled to the plains of Ipiranga where he declared Brazil's independence from Portugal.

Stanicia said other factors considered for the selection of the meetinghouse were because the center was large enough to accommodate nearly 1,000 people and because the building has excellent acoustics.

The Church has been involved with the annual commemoration of this anniversary for the past seven years, Stanicia said.

"I used to be president of that stake, and we were invited to take part in the commission's meetings. From that time on, we have been involved with the commission."

Presently, Bishop Luiz Carlos Perrupato of the Ipiranga Ward is serving on the commission.

"The Church has really become known through this program," said Stanicia.

Through the program, the Church received publicity in the local newspaper and on the printed program. About a third of those attending were not Church members, Stanicia estimated.