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Conley focuses West Village Chorale on music and community
by Dan McCrary for Vocal Area Network
Posted May 4, 2004

Michael ConleyFor more than thirty years the West Village Chorale has been a solid member of its community, providing music and other services to its neighbors. It still does. But the music is getting better.

This is largely because of Michael Conley, who is nearing the end of his fourth season as the chorale's conductor and artistic director. Conley, who holds a master's degree in conducting from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, has a sharp ear for programming and puts together concerts of distinctive character. He's broadening the chorale's franchise to include instrumental chamber concerts. Yet he wants to maintain the feeling of community identity and involvement of chorale members that has characterized this organization since its inception.

Indeed, the chorale was founded as a community chorus in 1971 by Gwen Gould, who was then on the staff of the Church of St. Luke in the Fields, on Hudson Street, where the chorale still performs. St. Luke's was then a part of Trinity Parish, which helped to underwrite its ac