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 40 to 50 members, presents two seasons 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, director of music at First Presbyterian Church.
Where do we perform?
Rehearsals are held on Monday nights at 7:00 at First Presbyterian Church on Washington Street. Concert venues frequently include Christ Lutheran Church in La Vale and First Presbyterian Church Cumberland, but other sites are occasionally utilized.
What makes our group possible?
The Cumberland Choral Society is a not-for-profit organization that has enriched, educated, and entertained the Cumberland area for over seven decades. Our efforts have been supported by the generosity of the Cumberland community who have contributed not only monetary support, but also have opened their doors to provide rehearsal space, concert venues and use of their instruments.
Why do we perform?
The Choral Society has provided the community and its members with opportunities to enhance their knowledge and enjoyment of many styles of music from both sacred and secular traditions. We hope to continue to be an active, vital part of Cumberland’s many-faceted arts community and enrich the lives of those who make Western Maryland their home.
The Cumberland Choral Society is led by director 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.
Currently Ms. Brown is the Artistic Director of The Cumberland Choral Society, Director of Music and Organist at the First Presbyterian Church in Cumberland, Maryland, Adjunct Professor of Organ at Frostburg State University, an accompanist in the Music Department at Frostburg State University, teaches voice, piano and organ privately, and concertizes in the tri-state area . She also enjoys conducting choral workshops and clinics. She is a resident of Cumberland and has called Maryland home since October of 2005.
Accompanist: Laura Godfrey
Laura is excited to be joining Cumberland Choral Society as accompanist this year. Laura received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Alderson Broaddus College, and a Masters of Music Education degree from Shepherd University. She teaches music and is Choral Director at Mt. Savage Middle School as well as teaches private piano and voice. She can regularly be seen playing keyboards in the pit orchestras at Cumberland Theater, Frostburg State University, Allegany High School, and Mt. Ridge High School.
Laura lives in Cumberland with her husband Robert and has three children, Emma, Robin, and Patrick.