During the 30 years the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers have been bringing choral music to the Tri-Cities, the organization has evolved into a cornerstone of the local performing arts community. As the Mastersingers look forward to 2016, our efforts will be driven by our mission to change lives through the power of choral music, and we plan to meet challenges with momentum powered by passion and a spirit of cooperation.
Our goal is to use music to engage and inspire people in our community, and as far afield as we can stretch. In addition to our five-concert series in the Tri-Cities, we perform with symphonies throughout the Northwest. We strive to follow the heartbeat of our community, singing for events as diverse as the Juneteenth celebration in Pasco and the dedication of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park at Hanford’s B Reactor, which led to an invitation by Senator Maria Cantwell to sing for an event with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell in Seattle.
Musical and educational outreach is an important aspect of our work, and we intend to grow these programs. We present local choral singer workshops for all ages, including our annual Middle School Choral Festival. We bring eminent choral directors and composers from around the country to visit Tri-Cities schools and work with students, including special efforts to reach underserved communities. K-12 students are admitted free to our concerts, and pre-concert talks are offered for every program, to provide greater understanding and appreciation for the music we perform.
We bring eminent choral directors and composers from around the country to visit Tri-Cities schools and work with students, including special efforts to reach underserved communities.
Additional future plans include expanding the Mid-Columbia Boys’ Choir, now in its second season. Led by Pasco School District choral directors JoLyn Glenn and Kurtis McFadden, the Boys’ Choir is growing to include boys with unchanged voices in fourth through eighth grades.
It is our goal to give the Boys’ Choir even more opportunities to perform at events such as Tri-Cities Dust Devils games, Mid-Columbia Symphony concerts and the AACCES Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. Through music, we hope to bring these boys closer to their community and broaden their awareness of what lies outside it.
Our brand-new Mid-Columbia Women’s Choir recently had its first performance, led by Associate Conductor Reginald Unterseher. This group was created to give the women on our roster more chances to sing together, and to encourage more singers to join us, and we are excited to see where the potential of this group will lead.
Collaboration is at the heart of our values, and we work with other local performing arts groups whenever possible. We look forward to joining the Mid-Columbia Symphony for an epic choral-orchestral performance in May, and in April, we welcome the Urban Poets Society in a unique program juxtaposing the spoken word with choral music, hoping to bring new ideas to our audience.
We are thrilled with the road ahead: our concert series, school and community outreach, Boys’ Choir, Women’s Choir and our many collaborations. The continuing challenges which confront us, which include the increased costs of growing these programs, will be built on a foundation of wonderful donors and grantors, as we work hard to earn additional support.
One of the greatest challenges faced by our organization, and indeed all arts organizations in our region, is the lack of a Performing Arts Center.
One of the greatest challenges faced by our organization, and indeed all arts organizations in our region, is the lack of a performing arts center. Not having a dedicated venue to present our performances is a hindrance to our mission, and we are often at the mercy of local churches and schools, which can barely accommodate our programs. A community of our size and stature should not lack this essential cultural mainstay.
The Mid-Columbia Mastersingers dream of the day when the Tri-Cities has a Performing Arts Center, a place to fulfill our vision of a world where choral music is valued and supported by the community and is accessible to people of all ages and cultures.