Music Beyond Measure Establishes Montclair Community Chorus To Spark Discussions About Trauma

Music Beyond Measure (MBM), dedicated to using music and the creative process as a means of enriching the lives of individuals with trauma, has established the Montclair Community Chorus (MCC). Open to all Essex County residents aged 16 and over, the chorus will perform original musical works created by survivors of trauma (sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder) who have participated in MBM’s flagship program, the “Sing Your Story” Project (SYSP). SYSP partners professional musicians with trauma survivors to compose lyrics and music to their own original songs.

The chorus will perform its debut concert on Saturday, October 26 at 6 p.m., at Central Presbyterian Church, located at 46 Park Street in Montclair. The event is free and open to the public, although donations are graciously accepted. The concert will be the culmination of weekly Wednesday night rehearsals that began August 28. For more information about the ensemble and the rehearsal schedule, please visit http://www.musicbeyondmeasure.org/montclair-community- chorus.html. For information on joining the ensemble, Essex County residents may email mcc@musicbeyondmeasure.org

Repertoire will be original works as well as arrangements of popular music. Heather Mitchell, artistic director of the Hopewell Valley Chorus, who recently made her Carnegie Hall debut, will serve as MCC’s conductor. The original songs are works of survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, and are scored by founder and president of Music Beyond Measure Tamara C. Williams.

Founded in 2013 by Mrs. Williams, MBM’s mission is to engage trauma survivors in arts-based, healing-centered programs that teach coping skills through music education, collaboration in songwriting, and empowerment through performance. The Montclair Community Chorus represents MBM’s newest initiative, which serves to spark community conversations about trauma through the arts.

“All of us at Music Beyond Measure are very excited and proud to launch the Montclair Community Chorus,” Mrs. Williams said. “I think we need new ways to talk about domestic violence and sexual assault that amplify the voices of people who have experienced it. I truly hope that people feel uplifted, spiritually and musically, yet more aware as a result of the Montclair Community Chorus.”

For more information, or to make a donation to Music Beyond Measure and/or the Montclair Community Chorus, please visit www.musicbeyondmeasure.org.

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