Circle of Song

Circle of Song Concert - Saturday, May 20 2006
Charlie Miller
May 8th, 2006

On Saturday, May 20 2006, at 7:30 p.m., the Barre Congregational Church will be full of the sounds and songs from many parts of the world and from a wide range of our collective musical history. Included are a setting of a poem by Robert Burns, a piece from 15th Century Italy, J.S. Bach's "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring", music from apartheid South Africa, American traditional music (e.g. "Shenandoah") as well as American musical theater and popular music of the '50s, '60s and '70s.

All this, and more, will be performed by Circle of Song, a community chorus that has invited local residents to sing for the joy of it since 2001, when the group was founded by Julie Rawson and Beth Bryant. As usual, there will be a great mix of a capella as well as piano and instrumentally accompanied singing. We welcome back our "House Brass Quartet" (Steve Aliquo, Joey Orszulak, Jim Pavao, and Julie Rawson) and we are proud to have alto/guitarist Diane Moloney make her directing debut with us this evening.

A special feature of this spring's concert will be our "senior" member, Minnie Isgro, soloing in "Climb Every Mountain." Minnie, a founding soprano member of Circle of Song, lives in South Barre. She has been singing in church and community choirs - including Barre's other chorus, Band of Voices - all her life. She enjoys singing the gamut of musical genres from classical to pop.

Members of the Circle of Song range from accomplished performers to enthusiastic beginners who don't read music. Under the direction and encouragement of Director Julie Rawson, participants learn music theory and improve their own skills in addition to learning the songs for each concert. Every Thursday night this multi-generational chorus meets at Quabbin Regional High School and works together to perfect pieces varying from world music to sacred song to doo-wop. Tapes are made to help the singers practice at home, and each rehearsal begins with exercises to warm up the voice and improve technique. Everyone is welcome to experience the joy of singing; enthusiasm is the only requirement.

Julie elicits suggestions from the group as to particular songs, or types of music, they would like to perform. The diversity of selections ensures there is something for everyone in the chorus as well as for the audience. Every concert includes a few pieces sung separately by the men and women.

Circle of Song members find community, and more, in their Thursday night gatherings. Many are from Barre; others hail from Hubbardston, Hardwick, Petersham, Oakham, Ware, Worcester, and Acton. Circle of Song pianist Deb Page and drummer Ivan Ussach add musical accompaniment during concerts, as do several multi-talented chorus members. New members are always welcome! More information will be available at the concert, or you can contact Julie Rawson at (978) 355-2853 or