We are delighted that you have an interest in membership with the York County Choral Society. Our choral organization is a long-standing one having been founded by two professional musicians (Dr. Shirley Fishburne and Dr. David Lowry) in 1980. These two individuals are recognized nationally as virtuoso level organists and outstanding musical leaders. I am proud to have assumed the leadership of this group in 2012.
As you may have read in my biography, I have been fortunate to have directed outstanding choirs at Winthrop University (1997 – 2017) and public schools ensembles in Charlotte, NC (1985 – 1997) where I served as high school choral director for many years. Becoming the Artistic Director of the York County Choral Society has been equally rewarding. Each age group poses specific vocal issues and rehearsal techniques, however, the goals have been the same within each group that I have conducted: the authentic/stylistic performance of repertoire, an adherence to the composer’s intent as expressed in the musical score, and impressive choral/vocal technique.
Each week, we rehearse with pencils in hand to achieve these goals. Singers are expected to be in attendance regularly, to make notes in their music and to focus on the details that make our performances professional with regard to style, articulation, dynamic contrasts and nuances. In doing this, we discover the hidden treasures of both melodic and harmonic expression and how the interplay of vocal parts or accompaniment culminates in moving performances. We are proud of our concerts and hope that you will take a minute to experience some of our concert samples on this site.
So, who becomes a member of YCCS? Our membership is comprised of diverse musical backgrounds and ages. Our youngest members hail from progressive high school choral and band music programs, and our more mature members have gained experience from their college or church choir experiences. Some members have not sung in years but are seeking an artistic outlet that is challenging, yet rewarding.
Our concert performances feature professional instrumentalists, college faculty, and church musicians who comprise our accompanying ensembles. Our soloists range from professionally established singers to up-and-coming artists who have impressive solo backgrounds. We have been blessed to have featured college level faculty instructors and professional choral music educators from our area in works such as Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Finzi’s In Terra Pax, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Brahms’ Requiem (to name but a few).
If you have not attended a York County Choral Society performance, it is time you did! You have obviously sought us out if quality choral repertoire has meaning and value in your life. We pride ourselves on performing not only the “great classical” composers but also the music of such contemporary writers as Gjeilo, Whitacre, Lauridsen, Antognini, and Stroope.
Our two choirs, the YCCS Main Choir and the YCCS Chamber Singers offer something for everyone! Our Chamber Singers ensemble features predominantly a cappella selections from all musical periods within a smaller group setting (approximately 26 members) while our Main Choir, which has a membership between 70 – 80 singers, concentrates on accompanied choral literature and large choral works that require a larger musical forces.
We are positive that you will find your place in our organization and look forward to answering questions, meeting you in our auditions or welcoming you back to our choir. Music is essential to our society and to our human experience. YCCS will allow you to continue your love of singing while musically enriching our local community for years to come!
Dr. Katherine Kinsey
York County Choral Society