The 2007-2008 season was the premier season for the chorus. It was a busy year filled with collaboration and outstanding performance opportunities. Under the direction of Don Megahan the Chorus presented a Holiday Concert in December. Stambaugh Chorus was pleased to be a part of the Verdi Requiem performance presented by Stambaugh Auditorium on April 25, 2008. The Chorus was part of a festival chorus performing with the Warren Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Susan Davenny Wyner. On April 29th the Chorus participated in Dana New Music Week under the direction of Dr. Hae-Jong Lee and Dean Joseph Edwards. (Dana Link) The season finale was a Spring Concert entitled “Life Song” at St. John’s Episcopal Church on June 8th. We offer warm regards to our outgoing director, Don Megahan , and wish him much success in all his endeavors.
In the 2008-2009 season the chorus welcomed Dr. Hae-Jong Lee as Director. The season began with an outreach perfromance on October 18th in downtown Youngstown for an event presented by the Helping Hands Ministries. Helping Hands is an organization dedicated to helping the Homeless in our Valley. The chorus hopes to perform more public acts of service in conjunction with local and regional non-profit organizations. The Chorus’ Holiday programming this season was participation in “Carols and Cocoa” as part of a festival chorus at Stambaugh Auditorium on December 3, 2008. The performance featured Vivaldi’s Gloria under the direction of Dr. Lee. The concert spotlighted students from Dana School of Music. In addition to the Gloria, there were holiday favorites including selections from the movie Home Alone 2. The Austintown Fitch High School Choir under the direction of Kay Williams also joined in the performance. The Chorus also presented a concert On March 15, 2009 with a Peace theme titled Peach March: Bridge Over Troubled Water. A spring collaboration took place on April 25, 2009. The Greenville Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Michael Gelfand presented Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Stambaugh Chorus joined Shenango Valley Chorale and the Thiel College Choral Department on stage for this grand event.
In July of 2009 the Chorus participated in the Pig Iron Street Festival with a display and member recruitment. The annual festival features local artists, performers, food vendors and a talent show. The Chorus began the 2009-10 Season with a potluck social in September and also performed on September 12, 2009 at the Old Wellman Theater in Girard, Ohio as part of the Community Outreach 2009 Event. Power Ministries gave away food, clothing and served food and refreshments to those in need. Chorus members were proud to donate items for the event. A Wine Tasting Fund Raiser was held at the Rosetta Stone Cafe. On November 7th, several members sang in the Opera Western Reserve production of Carmen. Also in November the Chorus presented a display at the Liberty High School Craft Show. The Stambaugh Chorus joined Youngstown State University’s Dana School of music for a festive evening at Stambaugh Auditorium at 7 pm on December 2, 2009. Various ensembles gave their renditions of many seasonal favorites in the Stambaugh Ballroom. Carols and Cocoa has become a annual Holiday tradition at Stambaugh Auditorium. On December 3, 2009, members of the Stambaugh Chorus sang traditional carols for families once again at the Austintown Community Tree Lighting.and was invited to entertain the residents of Briarfield at the Ridge Convalescent home in Mineral Ridge, Ohio on December 15, 2009. The Stambaugh Chorus under the direction of Dr. Hae-Jong Lee, presented a Mid-winter Concert on Sunday, March 7, 2010, at 4:00pm at Stambaugh Auditorium. On April 28th the Chorus joined ensembles from Youngstown State University to perform Orff’s Carmina Burana under the direction of Stephen Gage. The Chorus presented 3 spring outreach performances: St. Patrick Catholic Church, Youngstown on May 2; Park Vista Retirement Center on May 18; Omni Manor Health Care Center on May 25, 2010. The Chorus held a Bon Voyage Potluck Dinner on June 1st at 6:30pm in honor of departing accompanist Joo-Hwa Lee and her husband Dong-Hyun Son, our Assistant Director. During the summer break, auditions were held for a new accompanist. Jan Crews was hired.
A Kickoff Potluck was held August 31, 2010. Rehearsals resumed the following week. The first annual Night at the Derby Fund Raiser was held on October 8, 2010. Activities included betting with play money, dinner provided by Scarsella’s, a Hat Contest; Sing – A – Longs! Jan Crews on Piano, Basket Raffles and a 50-50. Several Chorus members sang in La Traviata presented by Opera Western Reserve on November 8, 2010. Stambaugh Chorus presented an outreach event at Barnes and Noble on November 21, 2010. Barnes and Noble donated a portion of sales to customers affiliated with Chorus. The Chorus participated in Carols and Cocoa on December 1. Various ensembles performed at 7 pm in the Ballroom at Stambaugh Auditorium while their audience enjoyed hot drinks and cookies. A Concert on the main stage followed at 8pm featuring Poulenc’s Gloria. The Chorus also shared many holiday favorites with the Altar Rosary Society at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Outreach on December 6. In January 2011, the Chorus welcomed new accompanist Alison Morris. The first Giving Voice to Peace Concert was held on April 10, 2011 at Stambaugh Auditorium under the direction of Hae Jong Lee. An art and essay contest was held in conjunction with the event and preparation began a year earlier. Participants included: Austintown Fitch Concert Choir, Beatitude House Children‘s Choir, Dana Symphonic Choir, Stambaugh Chorus, Stambaugh Youth Concert Band and the Youngstown Connection. Each group performed separately on stage and all joined together in a grand finale featuring the pieces. Deep Peace by Bill Douglas and United In Song by Paul Halley. Gary Sexton, Director WYSU-FM served as Master of Ceremonies and Judge Theresa Dellick presented the awards for the art contest. The Chorus presented a Spring Concert entitled “Songs of America I: Peace & Hope” On Sunday May 22, at Stambaugh Auditorium An outreach performance at Heritage Manor was presented on May 24th and on May 31st the chorus ended the season with a pot luck get together.
The Chorus began the season by participating in the Non-Violence Parade and Rally (Songs related to Peace were sung) on October 2. Several Chorus members sang in Opera Western Reserve production of Tosca on November 11. Chorus members also participated in a Book Fair Day Fund Raiser at Barnes and Noble on November 19. On December 4, the chorus performed at St. Patrick’s in celebration of their 100 year Anniversary. The annual Carols and Coa performance with Youngstown sState Dana SChool of music Ensembles was on December 7. The chorus presented a combined concert with the Youngstown Area Community Concert Band (YACCB) called “Holiday Concert of Giving” on December 11 at the Stambaugh Auditorium to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Mahoning Valley. Members of both Stambaugh Chorus and YACCB are volunteers. The project reached out to a large number of participants. Stambaugh Auditorium was chosen so that participants from all walks of life would be able to enjoy and come to this historical venue. The cost for the event was split between the two organizations. All the donations at the door were given to the Second Harvest Food Bank. A collaboration with Poland High School Wind Ensemble was scheduled for December 17.
The second major performance was the Messiah Sing-Along which was presented on Sunday March 18, 2012. The Stambaugh Chorus along with Seraphim Chorus, and community volunteer singers performed at the historical Martin Luther Lutheran Church. The Church was chosen due to its acoustics as well as the fact that the Church brought us an audience from the community that represented different neighborhoods, races, economic backgrounds, and life experiences. The performance was opened to the public and all Mahoning Valley Messiah singers were welcomed to bring their scores and sing along. The admission was a free will offering. The soloists for the event included a variety of personnel, from a professional YSU Professor, a trained opera singer, and an exceptionally talented first year student from the Dana School of Music.
The third performance was our Spring Concert entitled “Many Voices, One World” presented on May 20, 2012 at the Stambaugh Auditorium. Many countries based on the nationalities of the Stambaugh Chorus members were represented in song, some in native languages. The Concert was aimed at diverse ethnicities within the Mahoning and Trumbull counties. Stambaugh Auditorium was chosen as the venue due to its central location and the fact that it is the home of the Stambaugh Chorus. Area musicians accompanied the Chorus on violin, accordion, clarinet, saxophone, drums, and piano.
On September 23rd, 2012 the Chorus, along with the Dana Choir, and volunteers from local church choirs participated in the Festival of Hymns at Stambaugh Auditorium with Bruce Neswick, Associate Professor of Music (Organ) at Indiana University, one of America’s major talents in the field of organ performance.
Select members participated in Opera Western Reserve production of Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” on Nov 30th, at Stambaugh Auditorium.
On December 5th, SC joined the Dana Symphonic Choir, and Dana Symphonic Orchestra for the annual Carols & Cocoa Holiday Concert at Stambaugh Auditorium with the presentation of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Final Movement-Choral Symphony-“Ode to Joy” directed by John Wilcox and under the baton of Hae-Jong Lee. Guest soloists included soprano Misook Yun, mezzo soprano Rachael Pavloski, tenor Bill Ambert and baritone Max Pivik. Seasonal favorites were sung culminating in a holiday sing-along. Guests included the Howland High School Chamber Choir, directed by Anjanette Depoy.
The Chorus along with the Youngstown Area Community Concert Band hosted its second annual Holiday Concert for Giving on December 9th to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley at Stambaugh Auditorium.
On April 26th, guest Maestro Svilen Simeonov from Sofia, Bulgaria conducted as part of YSU’s Bulgarian Cultural Exchange Mahler’s “Symphony No 2”. Nearly 250 choral and instrumental musicians performed this 80-minute piece, including musicians from the Dana School of Music, Stambaugh Chorus, area music teachers, and players from the Youngstown Symphony, Warren Philharmonic, Greenville Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, Akron Symphony Orchestra, and the Tuscarawas Philharmonic, among others. In addition, Dana faculty members Misook Yun and Rachael Pavloski performed vocal solos, and Dr. Ronald Gould, former Dana faculty member, performed on Stambaugh Auditorium’s E.M. Skinner Opus 582 pipe organ. It is worth noting that this Symphony performed with all volunteer musicians.
The project that the Chorus is most proud of and took the most effort musically and financially was “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace” by Karl Jenkins. Alternating between scenes of war and the Kyrie, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, and Benedictus of the Latin Mass, The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace challenged audiences to find and tread the path from war to peace. Dedicated to the victims of Kosovo, the CD was released the day before the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Featured soloists were Kayla Wilson, soprano; Rachael Pavloski, mezzo-soprano; Victor Cardamone, tenor; and David Pratt and Raymond Wagner, Jr, baritones. Featured cellist was Fr. Vit Fiala. The accompanying film produced by OPUS was shown simultaneously on a large screen with the musical performance.
The Chorus also performed at two different nursing homes (Dec & May) as part of their ongoing outreach program.