Choral Society announces new season, 'virtual rehearsals'

Courtesy photoRyan Turner, the Newburyport Choral Society’s newly named, music director.

NEWBURYPORT – The Newburyport Choral Society will take to Zoom this fall to hold virtual choral rehearsals for its 2020-21 music season.

For the first time in the group’s 85-year-plus history, rehearsals will be held virtually Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom. Returning and new singers will be working toward a spring 2021 concert that the Choral Society hopes to perform in May, with lots of musical learning and technical experimentation along the way.

Rehearsals will be led by the choral society’s newly named music director, Ryan Turner, an accomplished singer, vocal instructor and music educator, as well as being a widely renowned choral and opera conductor.

“Online rehearsals this fall will give us the opportunity to dig deeper into some of the choral foundations, and singing pedagogy,” Turner said in a press release. “We’ll also delve more deeply into the history and social context of the music we will be rehearsing.”

Singers will focus on works including Gabriel Faure’s “Requiem,” Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Toward the Unknown Region,” Undine Smith Moore’s “We Shall Walk Through the Valley,” and Gerald Finzi’s “My Spirit Sang All Day.”

In addition to practicing and learning about the historical background of music to be performed next spring, fall rehearsals will also include a roster of guest speakers.

The chorus was all set to sing a grand performance of Mendelssohn’s oratorio “Elijah” in May before the pandemic hit midway through rehearsals.

“It was heartbreaking for our community of singers,” said NCS President Mary Ann Lachat in the release. “But we are excited to have Ryan Turner help us explore options and technologies that will connect our singers to inspiring music experiences that will keep singers connected as a community.”

 For details about how to register online and details about the choral season ahead, visit 

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