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A Voice for the Community: Master Singers of Worcester

By Robert Dellamano

Do you love to sing? Are you looking for a way to perform while making friends in a great community? Or perhaps you'd simply like to listen to great choral works performed by local talent? Master Singers of Worcester (MSW) is a professionally-directed, volunteer-administered community chorus located in Worcester and serving the surrounding areas. "MSW believes it is important for each community to have high-quality choral groups for the enjoyment and education of both the performers and audience," says Debi Lang, Publicity Coordinator for MSW.

Master Singers of Worcester

In continuous operation since 1976 as a self-supporting non-profit chorus, MSW has distinguished itself through consistent, high-quality presentations of a wide range of great choral music spanning several centuries. MSW generally performs 3 or 4 concerts each season at various local venues, some intimate and others grand, such as Mechanics Hall. The chorus repertoire includes not only more familiar masterworks, but also lesser-known sacred and secular choral works as well as many first performances and area premieres of works by contemporary composers.

Continues Lang, "Our concert programs range in style - from Renaissance revelry, to the American songbook, to world and area premieres of modern composers. Worcester has a thriving musical community and our concerts are generally well-attended by all ages. The most common feedback from our audience is that they are impressed by the level of professionalism and musicality produced by our relatively small group, generally between 30-40 singers." An ensemble of about 12 MSW singers, called the Master Singers To Go, performs more frequently at public & private events in a variety of venues throughout the region in support of the larger group. The combined audience size for both groups last season was nearly 2000.

Lang adds, "We strive to be inclusive and encourage all interested adult singers to first attend an open rehearsal - usually in September and January - to get a sense of their own "fit" in terms of both singing ability and comfort with the somewhat intense pace (for amateurs) of our rehearsals. Singers can then meet with our Director for an informal audition." Rehearsals are held every Tuesday evening 7:15-9:30 pm at the First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury. Members pay annual dues and volunteer their time in serving various organizational needs. MSW also welcomes talented high school, college and graduate school students for internships.

This year, MSW was chosen among 23 choral groups to compete in WGBH TV's premiere season of SING THAT THING!, "a new local series showcasing New England's best amateur singing groups that celebrates the diversity and joy of song making". Next year, MSW celebrates its 40th anniversary of choral singing in central Massachusetts. For more information about MSW's concert series, summer sings, and open rehearsals, visit www.mswma.org.

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About The Author

Robert Dellamano received a B.S. in Biology from Southern Illinois University,...

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