Special to Times Publishing Newspapers, Inc.
The Pennsbury Community Chorus was founded in the fall of 2000 by James D. Moyer and John T. McDonnell, both music educators at Pennsbury High School, with a mission to provide a place for the greater Pennsbury community to perform high quality choral repertoire at the highest standards.
Since its inception, the 60-80+ voice chorus has presented such masterworks as G. F. Handel’s Messiah three times, the second U.S. performance of Sir Arthur Sullivan’s Te Deum, the Requiem of three composers: W. A. Mozart, Gabriel Faure and contemporary Welsh composer Karl Jenkins; the Magnificat of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi and Franz Schubert, and settings of the Gloria by four composers: Antonio Vivaldi and Felix Mendelssohn as well as contemporary composers John Rutter and Randol Alan Bass. The choir has also performed John Rutter’s Magnificat and the Holocaust Cantata of contemporary American composer Donald McCullough.
In its 2008/2009 season, PCC gave one of the first performances outside of England of James Whitbourn’s Missa Carolae, a Latin Mass with the music based on European Christmas carols.
Over the past few years, the chorus has joined forces with the Pennsbury High School Concert Choir, starting in 2006 to present Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana in dedicating the school’s Choral Performance Center under the baton of Dr. James Jordan, senior conductor at the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. They combined forces again to sing the world premier of Karl Jenkins’ Te Deum at Avery Fisher Hall in New York’s Lincoln Center in January 2009, and for Welsh composer Arwel Hughes’ magnificent oratorio Dewi Sant (Saint David) in 2009 at Pennsbury High School and again in March 2010 at the famous Carnegie Hall Stern Auditorium (main hall) in New York City.
While the classics are its basic fare, the chorus also has ventured into the fields of musical theater and opera. It performed Rodgers and Hammerstein’s smash Broadway hit Carousel in a concert version in 2006 and “An Evening of Rodgers & Hammerstein” in 2010 offering songs from their hit musicals. In May of 2011 the chorus presented a “A Night at the Opera” featuring a variety of opera choruses. PCC’s 2012 season starts in May with a concert entitled “Grand and Glorious Masterwork Choruses.”
The community chorus is under the musical direction of James D. Moyer, who is also the Pennsbury School District’s Vocal Music Coordinator (K-12) and Director of Choral Activities at Pennsbury High School. Membership of the chorus embraces a broad array of people within the Pennsbury school district, including faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and parents as well as people from the community at large. It also draws singers from surrounding communities such as Newtown, Langhorne, Holland, Morrisville and Washington Crossing as well as Montgomery County, Mercer County, NJ and Philadelphia.
As a non-profit organization, PCC welcomes all singers who would like to join in presenting the great choral literature – past and present. Rehearsals are held on Monday evening from 7:30 – 9:00pm at Pennsbury High School’s West Campus Building in Keller Hall located at the corner of South Olds Boulevard and Queen Anne in Fairless Hills. Anyone interested in auditioning for the chorus should call 215-949-6780 ext. 70975, or contact the choir via www.pennsburycommunitychorus.org or on Facebook.