PETERBOROUGH — It was the end of an era for the Grand Monadnock Youth Choirs Sunday afternoon, as members of the group — past and present — shared tears, hugs, memories and song. They gathered on the second floor of the Peterborough Town House for a concert celebrating the nonprofit organization’s 20th anniversary, and to bid farewell to founder and longtime artistic director Maria Belva, who is retiring. Belva and her husband, David Vernier, both of Peterborough, founded the Peterborough Children’s Choir in 1997. The group has since grown to the Grand Monadnock Youth Choirs, comprising the Trebles for children in grades 2 through 4, the Choristers for children in grades 5 through 8 and the Cecilia Ensemble for teenagers
in grades 9 through 12. All three groups are based in Peterborough. Two other groups, based in Keene, are the Keene Youth Chorus, which covers grades 2 through 4, and the Elm City Singers, which covers grades 5 through 8. While each group sang its own assortment of songs Sunday afternoon, they came together on the stage with alumni of the choirs to sing two compositions at the end of the program. The final piece, “Inside the Darkness There is Light,” was commissioned by the choirs in Belva’s honor, and written by her favorite children’s choir composer, Jim Papoulis, Assistant Artistic Director Esther Rhoades explained to the audience of about 300. Read more
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Grand Monadnock Youth Choirs
GMYC is the performance-based choral music education program for young singers in our community.