"All of us are taking off from work and going to the Connecticut Connection," says World Mission Choir leader Joanne Perkins, "and singing for the Food for the Hungry drive." The noon event, Tuesday at Connecticut Avenue and L Street NW, will provide free meals, an opportunity to make donations -- and the rousing gospel singing of the 17-member group. The World Mission Choir will also perform Wednesday, noon to 2 p.m. in the Atrium Room of the University of Maryland's Student Union and on Saturday, 2 to 4 p.m., at Martin Luther King Library.

The nearly 15-year-old gospel group, with headquarters in its church at Georgia Avenue and Piney Branch Road, maintains a busy schedule in the area, performing for schools, benefits, hospitals and prisons. It has made recent appearances in North Carolina, New York and at the World's Fair in New Orleans.

"Basically, we're interested in traveling worldwide because we believe our music is capable of bridging barriers between cultures," says Perkins, whose ties to her vocation reach back to her native Greenville, N.C. "I had the pleasure of touring the Holy Land last Christmas, but I'd really like to not only be the representative for my choir, I'd like to take them on the tour as well."