What is the The Cumberland Choral Society?
The Cumberland Choral Society is a diverse ensemble of singers who represent a longstanding community tradition of fine choral music. Our vocal group, with a membership of 45 to 60 members, presents two concerts of music each year, one just before Christmas and another in the spring. Multiple performances and cooperative efforts with other community groups are performed some seasons.
Who are our performers?
Although a number of singers are musicians by profession, many are simply talented community members who have auditioned for positions in the group. They are currently under the direction of Judith Brown.
Where do we perform?
Rehearsals are held Monday nights from 6:50 to 8:30pm at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 16 Washington Street, Cumberland. We performed December 2019 as part of the Highland Arts Unlimited Series in Keyser, West Virginia and occasionally join forces with the Frostburg State University Chorale in Frostburg. Our regular venue is First Presbyterian Church, 11 Washington St, Cumberland. .
What makes our group possible?
The Cumberland Choral Society is a not-for-profit organization (501-C3) that has enriched, educated and entertained the tri-state area for 80 years. Our efforts have been supported by the generosity of the Cumberland community by providing rehearsal space, concert venues, use of local instruments, as well as generous financial support.
Why do we perform?
Music is a force that can unite us. It can cross all barriers and divisions." Our wide-ranging repertoire of Broadway to Bach reaches out to everyone. We are proud to be an active, vital part of Cumberland's many-faceted arts community.
Our Artistic Director is Judith Brown.
JUDITH BROWN received her Master of Sacred Music from Union Theological Seminary, School of Sacred Music, New York City, and a Bachelor of Arts from Wilson College, Chambersburg, Pa., where she majored in organ and choral directing. A student of Alec Wyton, John Weaver and Robert Shaw, she has served as Assistant Organist at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, New York City, and St. James Episcopal Church, Manhattan.
In October of 2005 she finished her 25th year as Minister of Music at The Larchmont Avenue Church, Larchmont, New York, where she was organist and director of five choirs. A moving, founding force behind the oratorio ensemble, The Festival Choir and Orchestra, she was its director for 24 years where she performed with 60 voices and a professional orchestra of 20 the great works of choral literature such as the Requiems of Mozart, Brahms, Faure, Lauridsen and Durufle and masses of Beethoven, Haydn, Bach, to name a few. She also served as Director of a Westchester-based musical therapy group, The Soundettes, taught private organ and piano lessons and was the Organist and Choir Director at Temple Israel in New Rochelle, New York for 18 years.
Ms Brown is currently in her 11th season as Artistic Director of The Cumberland Choral Society. She loves performing major choral works as the composer originally intended, combining the magical sound of a choral group with instrumental accompaniment. She is proud to have introduced the addition of instruments to the CCS concerts when she first assumed her position. She is a regular freelance organist at area churches, teaches voice, piano and organ privately, concertizes in the tri-state area and loves to do choral consulting and area workshops. She loves her Cumberland home which she shares with two furry friends, Canines Lena and Butter.
Our Accompanist is Laura Godfrey
Laura Godfrey holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Alderson Broaddus College and a Masters of Music Education degree from Shepherd University. She has taught both High School and Middle School Chorus in Allegany County for over 13 years, and is currently the Instrumental Director at Mt. Savage Middle School. She has been a choral adjudicator and guest clinician for Anne Arundel County and is the principal accompanist for the Cumberland Choral Society. She is also involved in theater and regularly plays in area pit orchestras as well as acts as Musical Director for area high school and community productions.
Laura lives in Cumberland with her husband Robert and has three children, Emma, Robin, and Patrick.