News and Events
Press Releases

Unity in Song: A Capital Region Choral Festival Saturday at Hudson Valley Community College

CONTACT: Lisa Roche (518) 629-8063 or Sarah Boggess (518) 629-8071
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Monday, February 5, 2001

On Saturday, Feb. 10 at 8 p.m., four local choral groups will gather at Hudson Valley Community College for an ethnically diverse and musically rich night of "Unity in Song." Participating choral groups are: the Capital Pride Singers; the Albany Housing Authority Community Choir; the Ne'imah Jewish Community Chorus, Inc.; and the Clifton Park Community Chorus. The concert will take place at the Maureen Stapleton Theatre in the Siek Campus Center at Hudson Valley Community College, 80 Vandenburgh Ave., Troy. Tickets are $10 for Hudson Valley students and staff and $12 for community members. Tickets may be purchased at the door.

For more information, call 629-7170.

Capital Pride Singers (CPS) was formed in January 1995. It began as a group of 12 singers sponsored by the Capital District Gay and Lesbian Community Council. From that small group, CPS has grown to approximately 55 members. It is one of only a few mixed (male-female) gay choruses in the country.

The purposes for which CPS was formed are:

  • To be a positive and visible expression of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community through music.
  • To promote understanding of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered experience.
  • To participate as a viable member of the arts community.
  • To provide an outlet for self-expression for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community.

The Ne'imah Jewish Community Chorus, Inc. is an independent, not-for-profit corporation founded in 1992 by Rosemary Linsider and a group of dedicated volunteers who love choral singing. The organization is part of a revival of Jewish choral music in North America and the State of Israel. Ne'imah is partially underwritten by both the Albany Schenectady League of Arts and the United Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York.

Ne'imah, which is Hebrew for both "melody" and "pleasantness," is an arts organization whose mission is to acquaint the Capital District Jewish and Gentile communities with the variety and richness of the Jewish choral music repertoire. The chorus performs both modern and traditional music in several different languages, including Hebrew, Yiddish, and Russian..

At the Saturday concert, Ne'imah will perform modern musical interpretations from the Book of Psalms by the late folksinger Shlomo Carlebach and composer Gerald Cohen. They also will present a selection by the popular Israeli songwriter Naomi Shemer, along with a contemporary musical setting from the holiday service "Hallel" by Boston-based cantorial composer Robert Solomon.

Clifton Park Community Chorus, sponsored by the Town of Clifton Park Arts and Culture Citizens Advisory Committee, was formed in 1995 by a group of individuals involved with local theater with James Cuva as Director. Director Susan Chesney and Accompanist Dian Dippold came on board in early 1999, and over the past two years the chorus has developed into an energetic, fun-loving, multigenerational group, singing seasonal songs to show tunes, classic to contemporary, toe-tapping to tender, melodious and memorable. The chorus has continued to offer two concerts a year, spring and winter, as well as performing at the town of Clifton Park's Sundays in the Park, July 4th Celebration and Winter Block Party, the Saratoga County Fair, Troy Victorian Stroll, the opening of Boscov's Department Store and upcoming appearances for Parents Without Partners, American Legion St. Patrick's Day Celebration and more.

The Albany Housing Authority Community Choir was formed in May 1999 by Steven Longo, who invited those living in the Housing Unit to come together as a choir. The choir has performed at various churches and concerts. Their first anniversary concert was dedicated to victims of AIDs and related diseases. The Albany Housing Authority Community Choir has grown into 30 members from individuals who live in housing units as well as non-residents, with members' ages ranging from the young to the elderly, as well as different ethnic groups who volunteer their time and talent to spread the message of hope and love throughout the Capital Region. Choir Director Linda Mitchell directed the New Life Recovery Choir for individuals recovering from alcohol and drug abuse. She is the founder and director of the South End Workshop choir and assistant director to the youth division for the Interdenominational Empire State King choirs. Her husband Betrum Mitchell, the organist for Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church and keyboard player for Resurrection, a male gospel group, also plays with various area artists.

The Cultural Affairs Program at Hudson Valley Community College offers a diverse and enriching range of programming in the arts for students, faculty, staff and the community at large. Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 9,000 students each year, and is known as a leader in distance learning and workforce training.