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By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter
On Saturday afternoon, the basement of the Needham Public Library was filled with an eclectic mix of music ranging from traditional spirituals to 60s folk hits, with just enough holiday music to remind the audience what season is fast approaching.
Led by artistic director June Ambush, The Broadmoor Chamber Singers held their “Broadmoor Winterfest,” a 20-song concert meant to showcase the skills of both the 21 members of the choir and their accompanying pianist, Soyoun Park.
The Broadmoor Chamber Singers have existed since 1975, when what was supposed to be a one-time performance for the Audobon Society in a private home proved so much fun that the group decided to remain together and continue performing. 42 years later, the group is 21 members strong, with members from various MetroWest communities and all walks of life working together to “foster a sense of community across towns while sharing a unique musical experience.”
While Ambush didn’t join the group until 2005, her fingerprints are all over the show. A former music professor at Pine Manor and a graduate of Howard University with a degree in Music Education, Ambush selected the concert’s wide-ranging repertoire deliberately; she believes it is both more interesting to audiences and more challenging for performers.
“I do a plethora of music because they say variety is the spice of life. I like to do different genres of music to expose the singers to singing different repertoires, to develop their musicianship, and because it’s much more enjoyable when there’s a little bit of everything for the people listening to us.”
But there is another issue that drives Ambush’s choices. While the group has members ranging from their early 30s to early 70s (they had a member in his eighties not long ago), they are disproportionately female. With only four men in the group, Ambush has had to adjust her song selection accordingly.
“It all depends on how many singers I have and the number of singers I have in each category. That is what determines whether I do SATB [soprano alto, tenor, bass] or SAB [soprano, alto, baritone], and because I only have four gentleman and one lady who is a tenor, it affects our song selection a lot.”
While prospective singers may not be able to join the group in time for their performances on December 1 at the Morse Library Institute in Natick or their December 8 performance at Old Sturbridge Village, the Broadmoor Choir Singers are always looking to add members of all walks of life to spread the joy of music throughout the community.
Just as they did on Saturday.
To contact the Broadmoor Chamber Singers, email the group at email@example.com or call them at (339-224-0561).