WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2017/2018

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/897427

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Page 101 of 195

men carrying on a tradition I embraced in college, as did so many of us, to produce fine music and perform, gives me unparalleled pleasure," says Ferrell. "We whole heartedly encourage anyone who loves music of all genres to give us a look." For tickets to upcoming performances, visit www.saengerfest.org Wellesley High School Choirs 2017-2018 marks Dr. Kevin McDonald's 14th year as choral director at Wellesley High School (WHS). Over the years, he's seen his choral groups consistently evolve, both in quality and numbers of participants. With five different choirs that meet during the school day and four dif- ferent extracurricular a cappella groups, there's a spot for any student who loves to sing. And there are a lot of them. "This year, we have more than 300 singers," McDonald says, which is about 20 percent of the high school student body. "We're one of the largest choral departments in Massachusetts." And one of the most prestigious. First Tenor George Ecker has been singing with the Boston Saengerfest Men's Chorus since 1999."There is a special camaraderie to singing in an all-male singing group. It's a night out with the boys with a feeling of accomplishment, with no repercussions or hangover," he says. "The ever- improving quality of our singing means we can get extremely selective ensembles to sing with us in concerts." Saengerfest's repertoire is eclectic and ranges from traditional Christmas carols and spirituals to men's music from more recent com- posers. At this year's holiday concert on December 16 at Regis College, Saengerfest will host the St. Paul's Choir School. Saengerfest usually per- forms a couple of concerts a year as fundraisers for various organiza- tions and periodically goes to London for the International Festival of Welsh Male Voice Choirs at Royal Albert Hall. Four or five times a year Saengerfest sings the national anthem and America the Beautiful at nat- uralization ceremonies in Boston. "The looks of joy on the faces of new citizens make these occasions memorable," adds Ecker. "Singing has been an important part of my life since following my dad around when he came home from WWII. I sang in school, college, and the army. Saengerfest has enabled me to keep singing, and to make new friends." Baritone Bob Ferrell has been with the group since 2001. "We are unique in being arguably the only male chorus in the country repre- senting Welsh music among a large repertoire of other genres. Our uniqueness resides as well in our mission to provide a memorable music experience to raise funds for specific charities." New members are required to audition with Music Director Tom Berryman. There are yearly dues and members are expected to help sell tickets to the concerts. Each individual covers his own travel expenses, but scholarship funds are available as needed. "Being part of a group of top: The Saengerfest Men's Chorus performing at Faneuil Hall with the Boston City Singers, the Apollo Club of Boston, and The Highland Singers bottom: The Saengerfest Men's Chorus performing at Fenway Park P H O T O S B Y H U W J O N E S ( T O P ) , A N D T H E B O S T O N S A E N G E R F E S T M E N ' S C H O R U S ( B O T T O M ) 100 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 7 / 2 0 1 8

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