In celebration of our 80th anniversary, NCS introduced the “NCS We Sing Program” to encourage and foster music in our community. The program offers opportunities to all ages to experience music, raise their voice in song or continue their education in a music related field.
Including children and youth in the performance of choral music…. We are delighted that the Molin School Children’s Chorus will join us again in our Winter Concert performance. Last year’s joint performance was a wonderful feature of the concert program, and we look forward again to this special collaboration between NCS and the 5th and 6th graders of the Molin Elementary School. In addition annually NCS reaches out to high school students, to encourage them to consider meeting their community service by singing and participating in The Newburyport Choral Society.
The Molin School Children’s Chorus was founded in September 2011 under the musical direction of Gina McKeown and assistant director, Allison Balentine. The chorus grew out of a need for creative art programs for the Molin School’s 4th and 5th grade students and has maintained an enrollment of 40 children for the past 3 years. The chorus meets twice a week after school for eight weeks in the Fall. The chorus has performed at the Molin School Winter Concerts and was invited to sing for a Newburyport School Committee meeting. This concert joins the chorus with the Newburyport Choral Society as part of its We Sing! community outreach program. Gina and Allison are in the early stages of creating a community-wide children’s chorus for the Greater Newburyport Community.
Music Director, Gina Mckeown, holds a Masters of Music from Illinois State University with an emphasis in Music Therapy. She has directed the Molin School Children’s Chorus for the past 3 years and has been Music Director for both adult and all-girls Collegiate Choirs in Illinois. Gina has taught voice and piano, her principal instrument, to all ages and currently is in private practice teaching piano. She has previously sung with the Masterworks Chorale in Cambridge, MA.
Assistant Director, Allison Balentine, holds a Masters in Music from Bucknell University with her principal instrument being the oboe. She has lead many children’s musical events and enjoys sharing her love of singing with children of all ages. She is the general music teacher at Bradford Christian Academy in Haverhill, MA. She is also the director of the Molin Drama Club.
The We Sing Program also encompasses several other opportunities for members of the community.
Th NCS Betty Gillette Scholarship Program… The scholarship encourages future study in music education. The scholarship is open to area high school seniors and is awarded annually in honor of our founding member Betty Gillette.
The Summer Sing…This program has seen a growing success as a community event with nearly 200 people in attendance during Newburyport’s Yankee Homecoming. The NCS Chorus comes together on a summer evening with community singers and patrons, admission free, to listen or join in singing wonderful choral music. The gracious use of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church enhanced the beauty of the music of the Lord Nelson’s Mass this summer. The extraordinary professional soloists and wonderful singing was preceded by a historical over view of the composer by NCS Conductor.