Welcome to the official website of the Music Club Chorus of New Castle

Please read this special announcement.

Dear NEW CASTLE MUSIC CLUB Chorus / Messiah "Family",

I hope this finds all of you safe, well, & enjoying these summery waning "dog days" of July, 2021.
As I previously (& strongly) suggested, I recommend that we cancel our November, 2021 Messiah performance & postpone it until possibly Sunday, November 27, 2022 ~ Advent I, I believe. (3:00 PM).

It seems there are simply too many uncertainties to further plan for this season. Per the latest updated guidelines (as of July 9) International Coalition Performing Arts Aerosol Study released through the AMERICAN CHORAL DIRECTORS' ASSOCIATION, the following main suggestions, meant to provide "some best practices" as we move out of this pandemic include:

1.) Masking of "appropriate" material [consisting of MERV13 material or ASTM F2100 (or similar) standard] remains the best way of reducing potential infected aerosol from circulating in an indoor space. Masks are recommended be worn while singing and speaking.
2.) In spaces with good ventilation rates and HEPA filtration, increased indoor rehearsal times of 50 minutes "may be considered". A minimum of 3 air exchanges per hour should be used, if there are spaces with higher air change rates, longer rehearsal times may be considered.
3.) Physical distancing may be decreased to 3 feet, adjusting farther or closer depending on local conditions.
4.) Good hygiene practices moving forward, including appropriate elimination of "brass" fluid is suggested.
5.) Bell covers made from appropriate material remain the best way of reducing potential infected aerosol from circulating in an indoor space. Depending on one's comfort level, instrumentalists can wear masks only when speaking and slitted performance masks are optional.
6.) Although America is reaching a higher level of vaccinated adults, the vaccination rates for those ages 12-17 remains low.

I won't further comment about the vaccination "rates" / choices of our group, nor will I comment about our group's age ranges. With these said, I "rest my case" & recommend that we cancel/postpone.
In the Epistle of James we read, Go to now, ye that say, today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there for a year, & buy & sell, & get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow... That we ought to say, If the LORD will, we shall live, and do this, or that...

Meanwhile, Let the peace of Christ rule in [our] hearts, since as members of one body [we are] called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of [Jesus, the Christ, our Messiah] dwell among [us] richly as [we] teach & admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs of the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in [our] hearts...

In His Name & Authority, may grace & peace, indeed, be with you & yours,

Inspiration of the Day

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end."
Ecclesiastes 3:11

Quotation of the Day

"Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day, saying “I will try again tomorrow”." ~ Mary Anne Radmacher

Mission Statement

The mission of the MUSIC CLUB CHORUS of NEW CASTLE is to prepare and perform George Frideric Handels Messiah - the watershed oratorio that has excited and challenged humankind for generations -- and to offer to our listeners and performers the distinct opportunity to be a part of this truly monumental classic. We strive to continually develop the musical, artistic, educational, and spiritual aspects of this single work. We aim to include participants across age, racial, and physically challenged spectrums. (The chorus has included the blind and regularly offers an interpreter-in-sign language for the hearing impaired. All performance sites are accessible to the handicapped.) It is common to have both teenagers and octogenarians working on and performing the same voice part.

Did You Know

In 1939, the MUSIC CLUB CHORUS of NEW CASTLE premiered its annual performance of Handel's Messiah at the First Presbyterian Church in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Originally comprised of members, associates, and friends of the New Castle Music Club, the chorus has recruited members from over forty area churches as well as students from several local high schools and colleges and citizens from across western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. This production has historically featured talented, regional musicians and music educators-- including organists, pianists, vocal soloists, trumpeters, flautists, percussionists, and choir members. The chorus has performed annually (excepting 1969 and 1970) under the leadership of three experienced conductors: Mrs. W. Walter (Ruth) Braham (1939-1968), Mrs. Kenneth (Betty) Gibson (1971-1990), and Harry M. Cunningham (1991-current). Performances have previously been hosted by over a dozen New Castle area churches, the Scottish Rite Cathedral of New Castle, the Third Baptist Church of Youngstown, and Westminster College. The Saturday, November 28, 1998 performance marked the first collaboration between the New Castle Music Club Chorus and Penn State/Shenango.
Dear NEW CASTLE MUSIC CLUB Chorus/Messiah Family, March has finally "marched" into the history books, & what an unanticipated & incredible month it's been for all of us. At this writing, it seems April may even be bleaker. So many Americans (& fellow world travelers) are sick-- many seriously, & many others may soon leave us. Please know that Carol & I send all of you our warmest virtual hugs Hugging face. I Pray that this finds you to be safe & well. It's been too long since we've last seen many of you; for some of you we haven't seen or heard from you for over a year or more. Eugene Peterson once wrote, "I can not be myself by myself." It's been such a long, lonely, & uncertain Lenten season, & with PASSION SUNDAY, HOLY WEEK, MAUNDY THURSDAY, GOOD FRIDAY, & RESURRECTION SUNDAY now on our horizon, it all seems surreal. This week's evening news casts suggest ominous days & weeks ahead. If you haven't referred to Psalm 62 lately, you might find some comfort in the psalm of David-- to the choirmaster: For God alone my soul waits in silence. He only is my rock & my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly moved... For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope* is from Him. He only is my rock & my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests [our] deliverance... Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart[s] before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah Men of low estate... [and] men of high estate... are together lighter than a breath. ...Power belongs to God; ...to Thee, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. And from St. Paul, we read, Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus, [the] Christ... [And] we know that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,* and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. ...having been reconciled, we will be saved by His life. -from Romans 5 In closing, you might also contemplate: Be still, and know that I am God. (Be still, and know that I AM; Be still, and know; Be still; and Be! ) -Pastor Barry (ST. LUKE's LUTHERAN CHURCH, Cabot, PA) Stay safe/well/dry/warm/blessed-- for we have been and are still-- / happy as you can be! Smiling face with halo with much Two hearts, in His peace, & for His glory, -Harry

Director's Message

We have officially cancelled our Nov. 28, 2021 performance of The Messiah. We aim to present our 80th anniversary performance on November 27, 2022 at the HOLY REDEEMER ROMAN CATHOLIC PARISH in Ellwood City. (Host, Dave Kosior, will so plan/prepare.)

Good ADVENT I Sunday Evening, Dear Ones, We hope you had a safe, festive, & happy Thanksgiving. Today was to have been "our (80th anniversary) day!" It goes without repeating: under the country's ever-escalating COVID plague, we're so glad we chose to cancel this year's performance. John Greenleaf Whittier once penned, Of all sad words of tongue or pen; the saddest of these-- "It might have been." But please don't be sad. Most of us have survived (& will survive) this dreaded pandemic; we are OK, & God is still in control. Along w/ me, I'm sure you've greatly missed our annual "family" get-togethers (our Messiah rehearsals & performance,) but we'll now aim for our 2021 season, &, God-willing, it will be most memorable. We shall plan & prepare as best we can, but ...whereas [we] know not what shall be on the morrow... [we] ought to say, If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that... James 4: 14, 15. God will provide if He so deems. Every good gift & every perfect gift is from above, & cometh down from the Father... James 1:17 I'll write again before Christmas to extend our holiday wishes. Meanwhile, please be safe, well, happy, & blessed. May His grace & sweet peace be w/ you & yours, -Harry


Art Towne, a long time "core" tenor/then bass member of our New Castle Music Club Chorus Messiah family, has passed and will be very greatly missed.

Please keep Audrey, Traci and the rest of his family in prayer. Services were at the Cunningham Funeral Home on Wilmington Road in New Castle on Thursday, December 16, 2021.

Note from Richard I am sorry to be late on posting this announcement. I was late checking my email.