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Central City Chorus celebrates its 25th anniversary
by Stephen Black for Vocal Area Network
Posted September 13, 2005

Central City ChorusThe singers of the Central City Chorus and its conductor Stephen Black are proud to announce their 25th anniversary season. The season will feature performances of choral music which have been previously sung by the chorus, including New York City premieres and commissions. Highlights of the season include Emma Lou Diemer’s A Feast for Christmas, a rhythmic and sweet work for chorus and brass sextet; the Seven Songs of the Rubaiyat by Adolphus Hailstork (which was given its New York City premiere by the Central City Chorus); and the beloved Requiem of Johannes Brahms.

From its modest start in 1981 as chorus-in-residence at Central Presbyterian Church, the Central City Chorus has grown into a highly accomplished 40-voice chorus of dedicated volunteer singers. Now in its twenty-fifth season, and in residence at the Church of St. John the Baptist on West 31st Street, the chorus is firmly established among the city’s smaller choral groups.

The first conductor of the chorus was Judith Otten, a professional singer. She was followed in 1982 by Michael May, a pianist known both in the U.S. and in Europe. He was succeeded a year later by Charles Pilling, hired fresh from the Yale School of Music as Central Presbyterian’s minister of music. For the next 15 years, Chuck led the chorus to prominence. After his death in 1998, the chorus was led by David Friddle and then Kevin Scott.

In 2001, Susan Medley assumed the position of Music Director, and the Central City Chorus moved its “residence” to the Church of St. John the Baptist. Revitalized and renewed under her energetic and innovative leadership, which lasted until 2004, the Central City Chorus has become a vital participant in the musical life of New York.

Mark Kaczmarczyk directed the chorus’ well-received 2004-2005 season, which featured a performance of Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor. Stephen Black joins the chorus as Music Director for its 25th Anniversary Season in 2005-2006.

The chorus is currently holding auditions for its anniversary season. For more information please visit the chorus website at www.centralcitychorus.com.


Stephen Black directs the Central City Chorus, the St. Joseph's Parish Choir and the St. Joseph's Singers. This is his second article for Vocal Area Network.


Content Contact: Stephen Black.
Revision Date: September 14, 2005.
Technical Contact: Steve Friedman.

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