Choral Society Announces Singer Registration for 2021 Fall Program

The Newburyport Choral Society is pleased to announce a return to in-person rehearsals, kicking off an exciting Fall semester program that starts on September 14, 2021. Online registration for singers opens on August 27 and runs through September 12. Rehearsals will take place at the Belleville Church in Newburyport, NCS’s longtime venue.

“After a year spent practicing our choral singing skills at home on Zoom, we are looking forward to being back home in Belleville,” said NCS President John Moreland.

Under the leadership of NCS Music Director Ryan Turner, NCS will offer a fall season of innovative music-making, carefully designed to prioritize the health and safety of singers. In addition to selections from Handel’s Messiah, the musical program will feature The Ballad of the Brown King by 20th century African American composer Margaret Bonds.

“I’m thrilled beyond words to rehearse in person again,” said NCS Music Director Ryan Turner. “Being apart for so long has made us all realize what a privilege it is to be able to make music together,” said Turner.

A critical part of NCS’s return to in-person rehearsals will be implementing protocols that reduce the risk of virus transmission, including COVID-19. To that end, the NCS Board of Directors has established the following practices for the upcoming semester (which may be adjusted based on the progression of the pandemic):

  • All singers will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and will need to show their vaccination card prior to being allowed to participate in rehearsals.
  • All singers will be required to wear masks at all times while on the Belleville property.
  • Any singer who is experiencing any symptoms of illness is expected to stay home from rehearsal. Remote learning options (such as Choral Tracks and Zoom) will be provided.
  • Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 within 7 days of attending rehearsals will be asked to notify a designated NCS COVID coordinator. NCS will then notify NCS members of possible exposure.
  • NCS will use the full Belleville Church campus (Church, Stage Room, and Chapel) for rehearsals, and will limit the number of singers in any space in order to facilitate social distancing. This may require breaking the chorus into smaller groups in order to maximize rehearsal time.
  • NCS will limit the length of time each rehearsal space is in use. This may require moving from one space to another over the course of each Tuesday evening rehearsal.
  • NCS will purchase and use air purifiers with HEPA filters, and will keep windows open when possible, to increase the turnover of clean air in the rehearsal space.
  • Singers will be assigned seats consistent with these guidelines.
  • NCS will continue to monitor government and industry guidelines and transmission rates, and will adjust rehearsal practices accordingly.
  • All singers will be asked to sign a pledge acknowledging risk and agreeing to observe all NCS protocols related to COVID-19.

“With these protocols in place, we feel confident that we can welcome our singers back for an exciting semester learning some extraordinary music,” Moreland added.

For those who may be unable or uncomfortable returning to in-person singing at any point during the semester, there will be a number of virtual options in addition to in-person rehearsals:

  • Zoom links enabling people to tune-in to and participate in the live rehearsal each week
  • A link to the recorded Zoom rehearsal will be forwarded to all semester participants each week
  • Online rehearsal aids will be available

The Choral Society plans to present their concert featuring Messiah and The Ballad of the Brown King at Belleville Church on December 11 and 12, 2021 subject to COVID conditions at that time.

Watch a short video invitation by Ryan Turn here.

How to Register for the Fall Semester

Online registration is easy! Just click on the appropriate link below and you will be taken to the registration site. If you experience any problems while registering, please contact or call 978-462-0650.

Returning members (who have previously registered on-line, Click Here.

First time members or returning members who have never registered on-line, Click Here.

If you do not own a copy of Handel’s Messiah, Watkins Shaw, Novella, you must order on your own from, click here.

For on-line help registering, there are two documents posted on-line:

  • New and former members who have never registered on-line, click here.
  • Logon credentials for members who have forgotten them, click here.

If you have lost your vaccination card, click here to learn how to replace it.

About Ryan Turner

Ryan Turner, Music Director

Ryan brings a wealth of experience to lead NCS into the future, and to strengthen our presence throughout the North Shore, the Merrimack Valley, and southern New Hampshire. Widely regarded as a passionate and expressive vocal and orchestral conductor, he is also an accomplished tenor soloist and music educator. A resident of Haverhill, he is also the artistic director of Emmanuel Music in Boston, and is on the voice and early music faculty at the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge.

Ryan is highly regarded for his masterful and innovative conducting, with a choral repertoire that encompasses the complete masterworks of Bach, and major works by Stravinsky, Mozart, and Handel. As a champion of new music, he has programmed and premiered the works of several contemporary composers, and as an opera conductor recently led acclaimed performances with the Boston Lyric Opera.

The Newburyport Choral Society stands with those seeking equal justice for all. NCS has a longstanding commitment to equal access to choral participation, inclusion, and respect for all people. We recommit to working with and learning from organizations in the arts that are dedicated to social justice in the hopes of achieving meaningful change and equality for all.

Author: ncsadmin

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