A message from Commonwealth Youthchoirs Artistic Director Steven M. Fisher
Since the inception of the Pennsylvania Girlchoir (PG) in 2004, it has been a dream of mine for PG to have full-time musical leadership. I am elated to share with you the wonderful news that Ms. Melissa Keylock has been appointed its very first full-time Music Director. Melissa hopes to lead this remarkable group into a new era of even greater choral heights. Created in 2004 as the sister choir of Keystone State Boychoir, over the last 13 years PG has earned a stellar reputation as one of the leading ensembles of its kind in the country.
Melissa is an outstanding choral educator and conductor, with extensive expertise and experience with young singers of all levels, from elementary to high school age. Melissa is a shining star in the children’s choir and girlchoir universe, and we are very fortunate to have her join our organization. She is also a gem of a human being. The girls and young women of PG will love her, as has every group of singers who’ve had the opportunity to sing under her direction. (Wait until they experience her yoga choral warm ups!) To learn more about Melissa, you can read her bio here. You can read the press release here.
For the last six years, the Girlchoir has been fortunate to have a stellar conductor in PG Music Director Vincent Metallo. His impeccable musicianship and high choral standards helped Pennsylvania Girlchoir to blossom in incredible ways during his tenure. Of course, we would have loved to have Vincent as a full-time Music Director from the beginning of his tenure with PG. But his other professional obligations – including a full-time position at Princeton High School – precluded him from this extensive of a commitment with us. And so we bid a fond au revoir to Vincent, who has served PG so well. He, like all of us, wishes Melissa the best. He agrees wholeheartedly with the need for a full-time Music Director, and looks forward to seeing PG grow in wonderful ways with the full-time leadership it deserves. In turn, we wish Vincent the very best and will always be grateful for the incredible musicianship and high choral standards he brought to PG. He’ll always be a part of the PG/CY family. In fact, not only are we going to honor Vincent in a very special way in the coming season, there are plans to have him back as a guest conductor with a very special work. Stay tuned!
PG has an exciting season of performances ahead. In collaboration with the Keystone State Boychoir, it will perform Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, and Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms in honor of the composer’s centennial. The CY organization will host Choirs ROCK! Concert, bringing together 10,000 singers for the largest choral concert in US history. To finish out the season, the brother – sister choirs will embark on a concert tour of South Africa where they will represent America at the World Choral Games.
By virtue of her position as PG Music Director, Melissa will also serve as Assistant Artistic Director of Commonwealth Youthchoirs (CY), working closely with me to transform the lives of young people through the power of making music together. More than 700 singers, half of whom are underserved, take part in Commonwealth Youthchoirs six award-winning programs: Keystone State Boychoir, Pennsylvania Girlchoir, Find Your Instrument!, Good Mornin’ Music, Garden State Girlchoir, and New Jersey Boychoir. For more information, visit cychoirs.org.