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Community participation has been the lifeblood of Center Stage Choirs for more than 55 years. Its performance season draws audiences from across the Great Lakes Bay Region and includes an exciting variety of choral programs. Five ensemble groups make up Center Stage Choirs: the Bella Voce Singers, the Camerata Singers, the Chorale, Center Stage Youth Choirs, and the Men of Music. Performances take place in the 1,500-seat Midland Center for the Arts Auditorium and the 400-seat Little Theatre, as well as run-out performances to locations around the region.

Yearly concerts like the Youth Holiday Concert, Jingle: A Choral Celebration, and Men of Music’s Spring Show are interspersed throughout the year with special choral events featuring the talents of each ensemble. Recent performances include Proud to Be an American, Brundibár, and Broadway Showstoppers.

If you have a love for vocal music, become a Center Stage Choirs Volunteer. There is a niche to fill every interest, whether you want something behind the scenes, or the “full impact” experience of sharing your gift of song! Innovative education and outreach programs nurture a love and appreciation of choral music in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

 

Director of Choral & Orchestral Programs

Dr. Matt Travis

A native of Bay City, Michigan, Matt completed a bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance at the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in Choral Conducting at Penn State University. While attending Penn State, he served as assistant conductor to the Penn State Men’s Glee Club, conducting performances at various division conferences and in domestic and international tours.  During his time in central Pennsylvania, Matt was music director of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County, from 2006 to 2010. Following his years at Penn State, Matt was the Music Director at Trinity-Pawling School in Pawling, N.Y. from 2010-2014. Matt recently completed his doctorate in choral conducting at The University of Connecticut where he founded and directed the UCONN Men’s Glee Club and taught undergraduate courses in conducting and general music. In addition to his work at UConn, Matt served as Music Director of the Kent Singers and as Male Choirs Repertoire and Standards Chair for the Connecticut chapter of The American Choral Director’s Association. Matt is founder and Artistic Director of The Mid-Michigan Singers and Mid-Michigan Voice Academy.

Choral Ensembles

Bella Voce

Bella Voce, composed of high school and college-aged young women, performs regularly with the Chorale as well as at many community events. Membership in this group is by auditions held in May and September. Rehearsals are September through April, Mondays from 6 to 8 p.m., at Midland Center for the Arts. 

Directed by Heather DeGroot and Tracey Kempsell

Camerata Singers

The Camerata Singers is a 38-member chamber choir known for its intricate work in the classics as well as for showcasing new and dynamic pieces. The ensemble presents a June concert, and other performances throughout the season. Membership is by audition to any qualified singer as positions become available. Rehearsals are April through June, Mondays from 7 to 9 p.m., at Midland Center for the Arts. 

Directed by Dr. Matt Travis

Center Stage Youth Choirs

The Center Stage Youth Choirs program is a year-long commitment, with rehearsals once a week and multiple performance opportunities throughout the year. Members are accepted by audition. Rehearsals are September through April, Tuesdays from 4:30 to 6 p.m., at Midland Center for the Arts. Art from the Heart scholarships are available.

Prelude: 3rd – 5th grades, directed by Jillian Seamster 
Lyrica: 5th – 8th grades, directed by Tracey Kempsell 
Bel Canto: 5th – 8th grades, directed by Heather DeGroot

Chorale

The 100-voice Chorale performs a wide range of repertoire from the sacred and popular genres. Yearly performances include a December holiday concert and 2 – 3 other appearances, both singularly and with other choral ensembles. Membership is by audition to any qualified singer as positions become available. Rehearsals are September through April, Mondays from 7 to 9 p.m., at Midland Center for the Arts. 

Directed by Dr. Matt Travis

Men of Music

Entering their 82nd year of singing, the Men of Music is a four-part harmony ensemble specializing in popular, folk and barbershop music. They present a family-friendly Christmas Concert and a themed Spring Show, in addition to performing for local nursing and retirement homes. Membership in this group is open to any qualified singer as positions become available. Rehearsals are September through April, Tuesdays from 7:30 to 10 p.m., at Midland Center for the Arts.

Directed by Grace Marra
Accompanied by Jan Sutherland