KCC’s Branch County Community Chorus announces 15th anniversary schedule, seeks new members

A group photo of KCC's Branch County Community Chorus

Kellogg Community College’s Branch County Community Chorus (BCCC) celebrates 15 years of community music making this spring and is accepting new members for the Spring 2017 concert season.

Singers interested in joining the BCCC can do so beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, during an open house prior to the choir’s first rehearsal at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 27 E. Chicago St., Coldwater. Early registration for the choir is available by contacting KCC’s Grahl Center campus, 125 Seeley St., Coldwater, at 517-278-3300 or grahl@kellogg.edu.

BCCC rehearsals will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through May.

While there is no formal audition process required to join the BCCC, prospective choir members must sit for a brief vocal assessment and interview with BCCC Conductor Dr. Gerald Blanchard, director of choral activities and music area coordinator at KCC. Blanchard said anyone interested in singing – with or without previous choral experience – is welcome to join the BCCC family.

“The 20-voiced member BCCC ensemble is made up of community members and students from greater Branch County and beyond, coming together to perform a diverse selection of choral works crossing periods and genres,” Blanchard said. “Many of our members have some choral experience through church or school choirs, but they come from a variety of musical backgrounds, ranging from very little formal musical training to advanced degrees in music.”

In celebration of its 15th season of bringing high-quality choral music to the Branch County community and the surrounding area, the BCCC will participate in four distinctly unique performances during its Spring 2017 season, culminating with a grand finale anniversary concert on May 7.

This spring’s concert schedule includes the following performances:

A Celebration of Women Composers in Music
3 p.m. March 5
Binda Performing Arts Center
450 N. Ave., Battle Creek

O Magnificent Joy! Choral Arts Celebration
3 p.m. April 30
First Presbyterian Church
111 Capital Ave. NE, Battle Creek

Hospice Memorial Service: A Community Outreach
6 p.m. May 2
4 C’s Building, Coldwater

We Are the Music Makers: A Branch County Community Chorus 15th Anniversary Concert Celebration
3 p.m. May 7
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
27 E. Chicago St., Coldwater

Individuals interested in joining the BCCC may do so for personal enrichment or academic credit. For more information about registering to join the BCCC, contact KCC’s Grahl Center at 517-278-3300. For more information about the group in general or to inquire about financial assistance to cover registration costs, contact Blanchard at blanchardg@kellogg.edu. Performing arts grants may be available to those who have participated in the choir for two consecutive semesters and who have met all requirements.

“This choir’s membership finds commonality in a dedication to learning and performing history’s best choral offerings,” Blanchard said. “The BCCC has something for all who love the choral arts. We are a community of folks who simply love to sing. Come join in on the fun.”

About the Branch County Community Chorus

The Branch County Community Chorus, established in the fall of the 2001-02 academic year, is a “town and gown” Kellogg Community College ensemble that produces high-level concert performances. Membership is open to anyone who wishes to sing with the group. Under the leadership of Dr. Gerald Blanchard, who became BCCC director in 2004, the choir greatly expanded its repertoire to include not only the traditional classical repertoire (including works by Bach, Handel, Mozart and others), but jazz, show music, world music, spirituals, opera choruses and much more. During its 2006-07 concert season, the BCCC began its semi-annual choral touring program. The choir has since toured nationally and internationally, presenting concerts in the U.S. in Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York and Ohio. In the summer of 2012, the BCCC embarked on its inaugural European concert tour, presenting concerts in Cork, Dublin and Malahide in Ireland. The choir returned to Europe in the summer of 2014, presenting concerts in towns and cities along the Amalfi Coast of Italy. In the summer of 2018, the choir will tour throughout the states of Michigan and Minnesota.

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