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

Inspiration of the Day

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."
John 14:1-3

Quotation of the Day

"Nobody rises to low expectations." ~ Calvin Lloyd

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
We have officially cancelled our Nov. 29, 2020 performance of The Messiah. We aim to present our 80th anniversary performance on November 28, 2021 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