Honoring Our Sponsor Since 1947, The Elliott, Woodworth & Rogers Family of Funeral Homes
For non-profit music arts organizations, ticket sales and membership dues only pay half of the cost of a performance. The other half comes from our loyal business and individual sponsors. Today we honor The Elliott, Woodworth & Rogers Funeral Home as our longest business patron. This family-owned business began their patronage of the Newburyport Choral Society in 1947 with a sponsorship from the Robert J. McKinney Funeral Home at 124 High Street in Newburyport, and their generous support has continued to the present even as their business grew as the result of mergers with other Newburyport funeral homes, including Robert J McKinney, William McKay, Todd Woodworth, Ted Elliott and Steve Cashman. Back in 1947 the Newburyport Choral Society (NCS) performed only with piano or organ accompaniment and the only patronage category was an associate level of $5. NCS had just returned to a pre-World War II membership of 100 choristers.
Paul C. Rogers, Jr. and his wife Rose (who Paul calls the “heart and soul” of the business) continue this tradition of patronage and increasing support of the Newburyport Choral Society that is now going on 66 years. We spoke with Paul whose sons Cyrus and Joshua are also directors of the businesses that have served four generations of customers in the Haverhill, Amesbury, Merrimac, Southern New Hampshire and Newburyport communities.
Paul attributes his interest in choral music to his late mother, Agnes Rogers, who was a pianist and sang in the Unitarian Church Candlelight Choir for much of her life. For the past 20 years Rose and Paul have been driving their 1917 Model T hearse during the Yankee Homecoming Parade, passing out long stemmed roses to women standing along the parade route. Less known is that Paul still plays both the electric and acoustic guitar, performing at local fundraisers. While Master of the St. Johns Masonic Lodge, he often organized an evening at the NCS holiday concert for his Lodge brothers.
Until her death, Paul fondly remembers accompanying his mother Agnes, to every NCS concert. Paul and Rose continue to be in our audience as often as possible and have “never left a Newburyport Choral Society concert disappointed!” Paul remembers when the Robert J. McKinney Funeral Home at 124 High Street celebrated the Christmas season with style; as it was one of the first homes in the twentieth century in Newburyport to be decorated with outdoor electric lights. People came from miles around to see these festive and unusual decorations of the holiday season. And because of loyal and generous sponsors like Paul and Rose Rogers, our community will be able to celebrate the December holidays in style, with the Newburyport Choral Society, for years to come.
Penny Lazarus, BOD, Development Director & Joanne Johnson, BOD, Treasurer
The Newburyport Choral Society wishes to extend our sincere appreciation to all our Individual and Business Sponsors who have helped us to bring choral masterpieces to the community for 80 years. As an NCS sponsor or advertiser in the concert program you are helping to keep our musical heritage alive and accessible. Join us in preserving these incredible works that touch each of us in unique and meaningful ways.