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Coshocton Community Choir home moves to new location

| May 26, 2021

Pictured from left to right seated – Tom Mills, chairman of the property committee at Grace Church and Tim Vance, chairman of the finance committee at Grace Church. Standing are Charles R. Snyder, director of the Coshocton Community Choir; Gordon Kendall, vice president of the community choir board; and Steve Barker, president of the community choir board. (Submitted)

“When we next gather for Community Choir rehearsals – hopefully this September – we’ll meet in a new place,” said Charles R. Snyder, director of the Coshocton Community Choir.

Snyder’s retirement from the Coshocton Presbyterian Church in September 2020 meant that the choir needed to find a new home for the Community Choir office.   “Last fall we found an ideal office space in the Sutton building on Walnut Street,” said Snyder. “Several months after that, I received a telephone call from Cathy Hudson, a long-time friend and community choir encourager, who asked if the choir also needed a new place to rehearse.”

“In late 2020 some of us from Grace United Methodist Church heard that the community choir might be in need of another location for their practice sessions,” Hudson said. “Our little group from Grace Church who were discussing this situation has had a long history of either being in the community choir or having family members in one of  their choirs. We have supported the choir for many years and know what a gem they are to the Coshocton community. Our group felt that they are one of Coshocton’s finest jewels.”

“Our church had been having discussions about ways we could use portions of our large building and be of service to others, and wondered if we could help the community choir,” Hudson said.  “We knew that in order for them to bless the community in the way they have for many years, they needed quite a bit of space with several areas for their rehearsals (each with pianos), music storage, plenty of restrooms, and ample off street parking. We felt Grace Church checked all those boxes.”

After a discussion with Snyder and the community choir board about what Grace Church could offer, Hudson and her small group took the idea to the Grace Church Administrative Board.  “The presentation was met with a unanimous vote from our church board members for approval of the idea,” Hudson said. “Since that evening in March, the process has moved quickly in preparation for the community choir to move their music and other items here sometime in June.”

Tim Vance, chairman of the finance committee of Grace Church said that the leadership at the church has been wholly supportive of the plan to bring the Coshocton Community Choir to their building. “We believe this is an opportunity to more fully utilize the extensive facilities (classrooms, rehearsal venues, performance areas, etc.) for the benefit of the choir and the Grace Church family,” Vance said.

“Cathy Hudson and Leslie Dawson were instrumental in presenting the relocation proposal to our church council and asked that I put together a lease agreement to add structure and cover the terms and conditions of the relocation,” Vance said. “The agreement was reviewed by legal counsel and signed by the officers of the community choir and Grace Church on April 30, 2021, and will be reviewed annually by both parties.”

“The Coshocton Community Choir has a well earned reputation of high quality musical experiences for its members and those who come to enjoy the presentations,” Vance said. “Their emphasis on sacred choral music fits very well with the purpose of honoring God in God’s own house of worship. Grace Church also views this partnership as an opportunity to open the doors to those in our community who may have never been inside our facilities. We have a beautiful traditional style sanctuary and our worship experiences (prior to Covid 19) featured an outstanding Chancel Choir, a handbell choir, as well as a highly accomplished organist, Tom Havelka.”

“I can say we’re all very pleased that the community choir has decided to partner with us and we look forward to welcoming all of the choir members to the Grace Church family,” Vance said.

Snyder shared that Grace United Methodist Church was instrumental from the very beginning of the Coshocton Community Choir. “The Choir began its life in 1971 rehearsing in my music room when I was teaching at the Coshocton Middle School,” Snyder said. “We rehearsed there until the fall of 1976, when we moved rehearsals to The Presbyterian Church. Several of our early concerts, though, were actually held at Grace United Methodist Church. The first and second Christmas concerts were held there in 1971 and 1972; and spring concerts in 1977, 1981 and 1984.”

“The Grace Church members are very excited about this new venture with the community choir and we look forward to sharing our building with them,” Hudson said. “We hope our building meets their needs and blesses their ministry as we know their presence will bless our congregation. We also welcome any of their members and anyone else in the community looking for a church family to come and worship with us at Grace United Methodist Church.”

“I am very pleased with the unanimous response on the part of Grace Church in making this move work for all parties involved,” said Gordon Kendall, vice president of the Coshocton Community Choir Board. “We are anxious to begin our rehearsals there this fall.”

Auditions for the adult Community Choir will be announced and take place in August. The celebration of the choir’s 50th anniversary (which would have been held in 2020), will take place in April 2022.  To contact the Coshocton Community Choir call 740-623-0554, or email: [email protected] The choir office is located at 1035 Walnut Street (rear entrance), Coshocton. Learn more about the Coshocton Community Choir on Facebook or at www.coshoctoncommunitychoir.org.

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Category: Arts & Entertainment

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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