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Hopedale - Local Town Pages

Community Chorus With Hopedale Ties To Host Performance This Month

By Judith Dorato O’Gara
When it presents its Spring Concert this year, American Roadtrip, on May first at 1:30 p.m., the Greater Milford Community Chorus will finally be performing a repertoire it planned to perform before the pandemic shut it down a couple years ago. 
“It’s nice to be able to bring that back,” says the chorus director Mark Schiapucci. “This concert we’re performing is the concert we were getting ready for when COVID struck. It’s something triumphant, to dust it off and pull it off a shelf and finally be able to perform this concert we’ve been thinking about for two years now.”
The Greater Milford Community Chorus (GMCC) was organized in April 1973. The nonprofit draws from communities all around Milford, including Hopedale. Would-be singers are invited to join in on one of three open audition events at the beginning of each season, which includes a holiday concert and a springtime concert each year. 
“We actually have singers from all around the area,” says Schiapucci. Right now, he says, membership has been down. “In a pre-COVID year that number would have been about 40, but it’s enough to get our concert together and carry on, says the chorus director.
The volunteer group is open to anybody over 18 with a rudimentary understanding of reading music.
“Though this is my first year participating, I have found it fun and very rewarding so far to be a part of something like this where likeminded singers and music lovers come together to perform,” says chorus member Jenn Russo, of Bellingham. “I have loved that there are members representing all ages and backgrounds.  Mark has been amazing – very talented and with a wonderful sense of humor as he guides us to be our best.”
“I’m so relieved and excited that we can get back into the concert hall,” says Schiapucci, himself a Milford High graduate, who brought the chorus back to the concert hall just this past holiday season. “It’s been an interesting couple of years for live music,” he says. “There are enough challenges, in preparing music, without having to do all these other things. It’s enough to get together in the same room with a piano and to make music. There’s not really a substitute for that.”
The group, says Schiapucci, was able to “think outside the box” during the lockdown, with a virtual concert project during the holiday season, in which members recorded themselves at home and those clips were edited and merged, and then last spring, with an outdoor socially distanced concert.
“I was very proud, that even in the lockdown year, we were able to keep music going and the group active, which was a big priority for me, especially a group like this, where singers aren’t paid. If you don’t keep up momentum you risk the program falling apart,” says Schiapucci, who laughingly notes, I don’t miss rehearsing over Zoom, I’ll tell you that. It just really goes to prove how much people love and are devoted to music in their lives.”
For more information on joining the Greater Milford Community Chorus, visit