Mission Statement


The mission of the MUSIC CLUB CHORUS of NEW CASTLE is to prepare and perform George Frideric Handel's 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.

A Message From Our Director

January 8, 2019


December 4, 2018
We're forwarding this sad news to you, please:

"Please keep Suellyn & I in your prayers. Epi center of quake was about 2 miles from the house. We faced-timed with a contractor, most of the inside (first floor is trashed) Every thing in fridge and pantry on floor. Living room a mess....many cracks in walls....structural damage yet to be assessed. 7.0 for 60 seconds. Our neighborhood took the brunt of this. Many aftershocks 5.0 and above We fly out on Wednesday for clean up and start insurance process On a brighter note, NO fatalities Feel free to share with Harry and music club members Merry Christmas to all" - Larry & Suellyn

Larry & his new wife (Suellyn) of just 1 year are members of our NCMC Chorus & were here (safely in PA) for our Nov. 25 performance. They spend about a half year at their other home in AK. As you will read, they sustained devastating damage to that home from the recent earthquake & from the 1000+ after-shocks. (Larry also subbed as our rehearsal pianist one Oct. Monday, and he graciously agreed to narrate the texts for our bass soloist who was too ill to join us this season.)

They are such a precious couple. Please keep them in your prayers as they already face a very challenging 2019.

Thank you, & may His sweet peace be w/ them... & w/ you.

-Harry & the Chorus