The Masterworks Chorale
The Masterworks Chorale was founded in 1979 by David Hall as the Upper Darby Singers in association with the Upper Darby School System. In 1983 the chorale became an independent choir and changed its name to The Masterworks Chorale. Iris Levine became the music director In 1985, followed one year later by Carol Grey. The chorale moved its 'home' to St. James United Church of Christ in Havertown in 1987. After leading the group for 25 years, Carol Grey retired in 2011 and Pasquale Montenegro became the new musical director. Additionally, the group relocated to Church of the Redeemer in Springfield, PA.
The Masterworks Chorale is a non-profit organization with approximately 20 singers, located in Delaware County, PA. The chorale is dedicated to the performance of quality choral music, covering a wide range of periods, styles and languages. The performance in a professional manner of "masterworks" consisting of music written by the great composers of history as well as works by contemporary composers is a goal of The Masterworks Chorale. In addition, the chorale performs various octavos, madrigals, folk songs, spirituals, and music for the holiday season.
Another goal is to be of service to the community. The Masterworks Chorale usually gives two to four concerts during its season, September through May. In December 2009, as part of The Masterworks Chorale's 30th anniversary celebration, we presented a program called And the Glory of the Lord. The concert featured Haydn's Missa Sancti Nicolai (St. Nicholas Mass) and excerpts from Part I of Handel's Messiah. Also included were The Many Moods of Christmas - Suite One by Robert Shaw and Robert Russell Bennett, plus an audience sing-along. The Spring 2010 program, What I Did for Love, included a number of madrigals, folksongs, as well as music by Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Marvin Hamlisch, and others.
Through these and other programs, The Masterworks Chorale hopes to promote intergenerational relations in the community and to heighten awareness of the cultural enrichment and personal nourishment that choral singing can provide throughout life.
Performances like these are given in a number of locations in Delaware County, Pennsylvania and the surrounding area, in churches, schools, retirement communities and museums. The choir also performs "Singing Valentines" each year around Valentines Day. Throughout the year, groups are available to deliver musical greetings by phone or in person (in our immediate area) for birthdays, anniversaries or other special occasions. The chorale rehearses on Tuesday evenings at Church of the Redeemer in Springfield, PA.
Members come from all walks-of-life. These have included teachers, principals, students, plumbers, contractors, journalists, scientists, engineers, business executives, office workers, shopkeepers, health professionals, lawyers and homemakers. Being a part of The Masterworks Chorale means dedication and hard work as well as having a lot of fun. Previous choral experience and some ability to read music are helpful, but not required. Members must be willing to learn the music and commit to weekly rehearsals and a mandatory dress rehearsal. The chorus is open to all persons high school age and over. New voices in all voice parts are always welcome. If you would like to know more, please contact the chorale at Masterworks25@hotmail.com.