"Great Music...Close to Home!"
|WE BEGIN —
The RCS, as it is now referred to, got its start on an evening in August 2010 when a group of about 48 singers gathered to create a new chorus for the Rappahannock Region. We had no music, no piano, and no money! Chuck Parry was elected as our first president.
Linda Monner was asked to be our founding director and Marilla Haas became our accompanist. Our first step was to become incorporated and obtain our 501(c)(3) designation ensuring that donations would be tax-deductible. We then became Partners with Spotsylvania Parks and Recreation and eventually Partners in Education with Spotsylvania Schools and Partners in Community Service with the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office.
Finding a place to rehearse proved to be complicated with dates and times. At one point one venue was charging us $50 a night to rehearse. Having no treasury, each week individual singers volunteered the money. Times were hard, but we kept singing. We needed a back-drop so we purchase the wood and paint, and made our own. Using our dues and some donations we purchased music, and gladly accepted the donation by a member of a brand new electric piano. Our first concert led by Linda Monner was December 4th at Spotsylvania Middle School. Our set was bare of décor, but our sound was wonderful. It was then our honor to be asked twice to perform at the National Harbor Tree Lighting Ceremony in front of over 12,000 in attendance. The honorarium was a big help to our treasury.
WE KEEP GROWING —
By 2011 our reputation helped us to grow to 57 singers presenting music from The Music Man. Spring 2012 had us growing to 67 singers with a concert featuring music from My Fair Lady. In 2013, the region celebrated the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Chancellorsville and we went all out to present the music from that period including guest speakers and re-enactors in costume U.S. Grant’s great-great grandson was present. For our efforts we received our first Project Grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts.
By 2014 we were back to highlighting Broadway productions when we performed the music from West Side Story. Our membership grew to about 75 singers.
The 70th anniversary of the end of WWII gave us our themed program for 2015 “World War II—Remembering the Home Front.” Our program presented memories from local residents who were around during that war—Memories of Fredericksburg, VA, DC and MD as well as from around the United States. We sang of the Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy, and I’ll Walk Alone. We received a second Project Grant for this concert which proved to be one of our most popular concerts with an audience of 1000 over the two days. We were also recognized by the Virginia State Assembly as the Premier Chorus in the Rappahannock Region.
The next two years (2016 and 2017) we took our audiences to the movies with a musical tour of its history from Busby Berkley to Rodgers and Hammerstein and the great movies produced by MGM. We dressed in costumes from the various movies. 2018 was the year our Founding Conductor, Linda Monner retired. For that show we presented rollicking dance music from the 50s through the 70s and we looked back through the eight years of songs conducted by Linda.
WE KEEP GOING —
2021 and Beyond —
In September 2022, Robert “Bob” Burnett was selected to be the next conductor for RCS. Bob actually sang with the RCS as a bass in the Spring 2021 concert and has extensive experience as the previous Conductor/Artistic Director of Bel Canto in Madison, VA and the Blue Ridge Chorale of Culpepper. The RCS looks forward to performing under his direction.