Choral society launches online lecture series

Cailin Marcel Manson

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BENNINGTON — Faced with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bennington County Choral Society is launching an online lecture series, and preparing for a live performance of Handel's Messiah in the late spring or early summer of 2021.

The new lecture series will begin Sept. 14 and continue into the spring. Led by music director Cailin Marcel Manson, the monthly lectures will focus on topics that include music history, theory, and interesting tidbits of information related to Handel's Messiah and other great musicians.

Because it will not be possible to offer a performance this December, the society will take advantage of the additional time to prepare Handel's Messiah, in its entirety, culminating with a performance in late spring or early summer.

Chorus members will receive music, rehearsal aids, and monthly instruction from Manson, along with a live question-and-answer rehearsal on Zoom.

"BCCS is more than 'just a local chorus," the society said in a media release. "We are a community choir that has tackled Verdi's Requiem joining four choirs into one, we were a part of Bennington College's curriculum, and we have never required a person to audition to be a member.

"Our main requirement is a desire to make a joyful noise, plus put in the work to do it."Cailin Marcel Manson is currently director of choral activities and music performance at Clark University, artistic director and conductor of the Germantown Concert Chorus and music director of the Bennington County Choral Society and The Keene Chorale. He is also the founder and director of the Germantown Institute for the Vocal Arts.

To listen to past concerts and learn more about the BCCS, visit


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