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Give Back NH: Monadnock Chorus

Scott McGovern
Monadnock Chorus has maintained their performance schedule throughout the pandemic by performing outside and/or wearing masks. Even still, chorus participants have dwindled over the last two years from 90 singers, to about 45.

Give Back New Hampshire is a bi-weekly series that spotlights New Hampshire nonprofit organizations. It airs every other Saturday at 9:35 during Weekend Edition.

The following is a transcription of this edition of the series.

Joan Epro (President; tenor): One of the horrifying things that we found out very early on, was that singing in a chorus was just about the worst thing you could possibly do. And it was so disturbing.

Monadnock Chorus
Member Chair, Debby Kaiser displays 'singer mask' designed by Broadway Cares

It's really tough to sing in a mask. A bunch of us got these 'singers masks' that were made by a place for Broadway Cares. It's a bunch of Broadway wardrobe people who had no work, so they put together these masks. You look like... you look like a duck. It just fits over, and it comes out to way in front of your nose so that you have room inside the mask to breathe.

Colin Mann (Artistic Director): I think starting a new job, especially during COVID, may have seemed daunting, but not for me.

I think that I was eager to jump in and find a community of singers who were eager to create something larger than themselves, even in a time where we were a bit displaced.

Monadnock Chorus
Colin Mann is the Monadnock Chorus's artistic director.

Debby Kaiser (Member Chair; first soprano): We... we experienced something physically together. I am Debby Kaiser. In singing and breathing together, and sharing something that is actually very abstract —that we are actually making together on any given evening...it's an amazing experience for a novice or for somebody who's really, you know, very experienced to share. It's has meant so much to me, and I hope we can get more people involved.

Colin Mann: So our plan right now is to still perform in the Peterborough townhouse, which is at 1 Grove Street in Peterborough, New Hampshire, this spring.

We have three pieces with orchestra that we are currently preparing of the 18th century. So we're working on a Mozart mass, a Missa Brevis, with violins and continuo and organ. We are working on a Bach Cantata, BWV 117 ... our highlighted piece is Marianna von Martines's Dixit Dominus— which is a piece unique to this area; it certainly is a newly found piece, I think, to be performed. And we're just happy to elevate Marianna and to know that there were other composers other than the Haydn and Mozart in the 18th century.

Debby Kaiser: I would encourage anybody in the community to come and listen— and then sing along, sit in a section, sing along. It's not an audition chorus. We take care to help people find the place where their voice will be most comfortable.

Meet people in your area and to learn a skill with no stress— just support.

How to get involved:

Participate: If you'd like to get involved, please email Joan Epro at monadnockchorus@gmail.com

Support: The Monadnock Chorus's first performance of the season is happening May 7th at the Peterborough Townhouse. Get tickets here! And find a full listing of upcoming performances for Spring 2022.

If you'd like to to make a financial contribution to this 501 (c3) arts organization, you can do so, here.

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