Our Mission Statement:
Wings of Song is a community chorus, comprised of men and women of all ages from south-central Massachusetts and northeastern Connecticut who share the joy of song. Particular to the group is rehearsal in a learning environment with emphasis on the ultimate development of a polished presentation. Our programs include inspirational, classical and contemporary works of music intended for the listening enjoyment and enrichment of ecumenical and general audiences.
What We Do:
We present two groups of concerts each year. Our Spring concerts are the weekend before Labor Day, and our Winter concerts are in early to mid-December. Our Spring concerts can feature just about anything, from Celtic music to Broadway to songs about rivers and valleys to who knows what Music Director Nym Cooke will come up with next! The music in our Winter concerts is Christmas-oriented with sacred and secular music and a variety of genres, from French to German to early American to general popular Christmas tunes.
Rehearsals take place on Monday evenings in St. Anne's Church at 16 Church Street, Sturbridge, Massachusetts, from 7pm to 9pm. Winter concert rehearsals begin the Monday after Labor Day, and Spring concert rehearsals begin the first Monday in February. Rehearsals are continuous until opening night. We have working rehearsals at each concert venue on the Mondays preceding the concerts to acclimate to each venue.
A season closes with two concerts in one weekend -- Saturday night at 7:30pm and Sunday afternoon at 3pm -- each at a different venue. We have sung in Sturbridge, Southbridge, Spencer, Charlton, Webster, Dudley, Monson, and Woodstock (Connecticut). We like to branch out and try different venues from time to time to reach a wider audience.
On concert day, over 40 singers arrive an hour before the concert begins. We promptly warm up and run through segments of each song, making final improvements as needed. The concert begins with a song or two, followed by an introduction from Music Director Nym Cooke. Nym also gives some historic background about the songs and their meaning, tells stories, and cracks jokes, enlightening and entertaining the audience. A free-will offering is collected from the audience (we don't charge an admission fee) and there is an intermission. After the second half of the concert, we invite the audience to socialize and enjoy refreshments.
Our expenses include the Director's and Accompanist's stipends, sheet music, gratuities paid to our rehearsal and concert venues, piano tuning, insurance, etc. We raise money from collections taken at concerts, grants from local cultural councils, special donations from the "Friends of WoS," seasonal dues paid by the singers, and fundraising efforts such as the annual auction.
Another way that we socialize among ourselves is to have a summer picnic. We chat, eat lunch, and sing -- it's a purely social event, and a great opportunity to get to know each other more. In 2011, we spent some time after relaxing to re-learn the "Shining River" program from the Spring of that year. We then held a special concert on August 7th at St. Joseph's Church in Charlton, the proceeds of which went to assist the victims of a tornado that had devastated the area on June 1st.
We hope you have found this information informative and will consider attending our upcoming concerts, and perhaps even singing with us! Please, feel free to contact us.