Concerts‎ > ‎


Spring 2017

“Spirit of Life”: 

QVS Celebrates Spring and Summer in Song

              The Quinebaug Valley Singers present their annual pair of Spring concerts on Saturday, June 3rd at 7:30 p.m. in St. Joachim Chapel at St. Anne and St. Patrick Parish in Fiskdale (corner of routes 20 and 148), and on Sunday, June 4th at the Elm Street Congregational Church in the center of Southbridge (61 Elm Street).  Both venues are handicap accessible.  There is no admission charge, but a freewill offering will be collected at intermission.  This popular area chorus draws large audiences, so be sure to arrive early for a seat! 

             This time around, the chorus decided that it was time to present a program of all new material.  The result is a roster of eighteen choral works none of which has ever been sung by QVS before.  Half the pieces are drawn from QVS members’ suggestions of their favorite music, and half are from Music Director Nym Cooke’s favorites. 

             The result is probably the most diverse concert the chorus has ever given: a program that includes Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s beautiful “Ave Maria” and Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”; Johannes Brahms’s “How lovely is thy dwelling-place” from the German Requiem and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s “Find the cost of freedom”; a Shaker hymn and a medley of Beach Boys tunes.  Other composers represented include Leonard Cohen, Felix Mendelssohn, Billy Joel, Leonard Bernstein, Brian Wilson, and J. S. Bach.  There will be something for everyone—all sung with the special expressive verve that the chorus is known for.               

             As always, the chorus invites its audience—both “old faithfuls” and new attendees—to join them for tasty refreshments after the concerts.  And there is a further invitation, to anyone who loves to sing and can hold their part: join the Quinebaug Valley Singers!  All it takes is showing up at a rehearsal early in the season; the chorus meets every Monday evening from 7 to 9 p.m. at St. Anne’s church.  Sopranos, altos, tenors, and basses are all welcome, though singers of the lower vocal parts are always in special demand.  

            For further information about these concerts, about becoming a Friend of QVS, about the chorus’s upcoming Christmas CD Brightest and Best, or anything else relating to the chorus, folks are encouraged to email Nym Cooke ( or QVS President KT Therrien ( For more information about joining QVS, read on!  

Christmas 2017
The Quinebaug Valley Singers will present their second 2017 Christmas concert on Sunday, December 17th at 2:30 p.m. (rescheduled from December 9th) at the St. Joachim Chapel of St. Anne/St. Patrick Parish in Fiskdale (corner of routes 20 and 148).

This year’s choral offerings for the holiday season are unusually varied and rich. References to angels and stars abound—giving rise to the program’s title, which was drawn from one of the pieces, “Out of the orient crystal skies.” This is a program of mysterious, magical works—pieces where light blazes out of darkness, and where out of deep silence heavenly choirs sing—pieces that will transport you far away from the here and now of Christmas shopping and department-store Muzak. As Music Director Nym Cooke puts it, “Our music this time around favors the ancient and the timeless—the opposite of pop, the antithesis of commercial.”

Composers range from Johannes Eccard (b. 1553) to Daniel Kantor (b. 1960). The offerings include arrangements of English folksongs; the second performance anywhere of a piece by Music Director Cooke; "In the bleak mid-winter" in two musical settings; an aria from Handel's Messiah sung (as it originally was) not by a female alto but by a male countertenor; "Gaudete! Christus est natus" from the 16th century; “A Christmas Carol” by American composer Charles Ives; and “Dark the Night,” with music from Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra and a text by Cooke.

All but two of the pieces have never been sung previously by the Quinebaug Valley Singers. Half of them were suggested by members of the chorus, and half were selected by Music Director Cooke. QVS’s own Sarah Jo Burke will enliven a couple of songs with her fine flute and drum playing. The concert will start with the chorus’s youngest member, 15-year- old Audrey Clark, singing the opening verse of “Once in royal David’s city.” And of course it’ll end with everyone singing familiar Christmas carols together—a QVS tradition.

After the concert, audience members are invited to join the singers to sample some delicious eats and drinks supplied by chorus members. The libation is free, as is the concert itself; a freewill offering will be collected at intermission. St. Joachim is handicap-accessible, but plan to arrive early to be sure of a seat!  Doors open to the public at 2:15.