To open its 80th season, the Newburyport Choral Society is bringing both something new and something old to the table.
For the first time, the Molin School Children’s Chorus will participate in the Winter Concert, which is next weekend at the Belleville Congregational Church in Newburyport. The group of about 40 fourth- and fifth-graders will join the choral society for “Wither’s Rocking Hymn” and “Patapan.” The children will also present two pieces on their own, “Cape Cod” and “The Swallow.”
It will also be the first time that the Molin chorus has been accompanied by a professional orchestra.
“I think the two pieces we’re going to sing together with the chorus and the orchestra and the Molin school choir are going to be a real thrill for all of us,” said Gerald Weale, music director for the choral society.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Gina McKeown, the Molin chorus’s music director. “To be able to sing in a forum with a professional-level chorus and orchestra and to work with someone like Jerry is a great opportunity they will always remember.”
“They’re going to be ready and do a fine job with us,” said Weale, who added that the two choruses will rehearse together for the first time on Monday. “I expect it will be a good experience for them.”
The Molin chorus was founded in 2011 by McKeown and assistant director Allison Balentine as a way to increase creative arts programs at the school. The children meet twice a week after school for eight weeks each fall.
“Singing and performing in a chorus ignites a passion that will continue throughout their lives,” said Molin School Principal Tara Rossi, who will serve as a guest conductor at one of the two performances. “I’m very proud of them. They sound fantastic.”