Sat, Jul 01|
Island Community Chorus Show
Island Community Chorus fosters the singing and enjoyment of choral music and presents public concerts.
Time & Location
Jul 01, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard, 80 Trinity Park, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557, USA
About the event
Community singing has a long Island history, but there was a gap of years in concert performances until Peter Boak came along. From our first concerts in 1996, and subsequent incorporation in 1998, the Chorus has grown both in numbers and challenges. Formed by a group of singers who were looking to perform varied and interesting works, we continue to attract new singers and larger audiences. In the true spirit of an amateur choir, auditions are not required. All we ask is a commitment to singing and a joy in performing.
Throughout the years, works by Poulenc, Faure, Rutter, Haydn, Bach, and Mendelssohn have often included professional musicians coming from Boston to New York and several Island towns. We also felt privileged to perform works by local composers, including Philip Dietterich, Brian Hughes, and Dorian Lopes.
Our history began with the openings of both the Hebrew Center of Martha’s Vineyard and the Performing Arts Center at the regional high school. Other venues have included Grace Episcopal Church, the Whaling Church, and the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs. One of our most ambitious concerts, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, was performed only once, but to a full house at the Performing Arts Center. Since 1997, when we were the only local chorus invited by the Martha’s Vineyard Camp-Meeting Association to perform in the historic Tabernacle, we have helped welcome every summer season with our Fourth of July concerts. We love sharing our work with our summer visitors.
For our year round audiences, our winter and spring concerts have been varied and rewarding. At our 10th anniversary, to show our appreciation for our Island audience, we presented our first free concerts in the Old Whaling Church, with a rich and challenging program featuring special musicians and soloists. In April 2016, for the Chorus’ 20th anniversary, we offered two free performances of Brahms’ German Requiem in grateful thanks to our loyal audiences.
In 2019, we were privileged to be among the commissioners of a new work by Thomas LaVoy, who, inspired by the story of Islander Nancy Luce, wrote an ambitious cantata, In Heaven, Hereafter, which set her life and poems to music. We presented the first of several international premiere concerts, and introduced the composer to the community where Nancy Luce had lived.
Peter Boak, founder and director of the Chorus since 1996 — and a recipient of the Creative Living Award from the Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation — retired from his post after the group’s July concert at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs. Since the fall 2022 semester, the Chorus has been led by William D. Peek Jr., who is also music director at the First Congregational Church in West Tisbury. Mr. Peek has more than four decades of choral directing experience, and holds a Master of Music degree from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J.
We have now reached the point where listing our performances and repertoire would take pages and pages, so we just want you to know we honor the rich heritage of our past as we celebrate music together, preparing every new concert with dedication and enthusiasm. Without an audience, it would still be great fun, but our supporters make this truly an all Island experience.