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Director drives 500 miles to watch her choir grow
by Laura Vanderkam for Vocal Area Network
Posted November 26, 2003

Susan Medley, director of the Central City Chorus (CCC), has a long commute to rehearsals on Thursday nights. Five hundred miles to be exact.

Six months after her day job at Carnegie Hall was eliminated, Medley decided to move home to Ohio to save money. But she and assistant director Alex Gregory still drive across Pennsylvania and New Jersey every Thursday to be at the Church of St. John the Baptist, on 31st street near Penn Station, on time for 7:30 rehearsals. "It's not so hard," Medley says. "In the morning, I'm all psyched to get in the car and come."

CCC, like many choirs, has arrived at a critical moment in its history. When Medley became the director three years ago, the choir had dwindled to about 15 souls. Membership has grown every year since, and now stands at 60 voices. The choir's Board of Directors was thrilled with this rapid expansion, but no one knew quite how to direct it. Medley became convinced of the importance of strategic planning through her involvement in Chorus America. So starting during Spring 2003 under the direction of assistant director Gregory, and continuing during Medley's sudden sabbatical this past summer, the