SCITUATE MARINER – Founding president of McGrath PR and arts advocate Michelle McGrath has been named managing director of South Shore Children’s Chorus, the greater South Shore’s training program for all young singers.
McGrath, a resident of Scituate, formerly of Kingston, will foster community by uniting SSCC’s staff, singers and their families, and serving as champion for the organization’s long-term vision for growth, as a partner to SSCC founding artistic director Kirsten Oberoi. SSCC recently announced its commitment to expand to Hanover in September, establishing its third campus at South Shore YMCA’s Laura’s Center for the Arts, growing from its current Quincy and Sharon rehearsal sites.
“This role is a perfect fit to fulfill in tandem with my public relations company,” said McGrath, who founded McGrath PR in 2010. “I’m at a stage in life where I want to amplify the passion that inspires my career. Singing has always been an important part of my life, from musical theatre during high school and college, to solo singing with a few instrumental ensembles, to my current joy of singing with my dearest friends in Pilgrim Festival Chorus and Friends in Song cappella ensemble.”
McGrath has championed ample media recognition for more than 100 public relations clients, including many choral and instrumental ensembles, performing artists, arts organizations and cultural institutions. She has founded and served on many of the region’s cultural committees and arts organizations, including Plymouth’s Spire Center for Performing Arts, Plymouth Bay Cultural District, currently serving on Scituate Cultural Council, a facet of Massachusetts Cultural Council. As a performing artist, McGrath has appeared both on and backstage, performing for many years in theatrical productions, currently singing with Pilgrim Festival Chorus, the South Shore’s premiere chorus and Friends in Song a cappella ensemble. She previously served as parish organist for several Massachusetts churches, and as the founding arts and entertainment correspondent for PACTV’s PCN Community News, the South Shore’s premiere regional television news program. To learn more about McGrath PR, visit https://mcgrathpr.com.
“Music education was paramount in my vision for my own three children’s lives as students, who engaged in singing and collectively 11 musical instruments during their youth and teen years. Now, they are all grown adults, enriched by those experiences, one even evolving as a songwriter,” said McGrath. “I want the same inspiration for South Shore Children’s Chorus students; to embrace the opportunity of singing as a salve for life and fortification for their soul. It is life changing to life your singing voice to embrace community, entertain others and create self-satisfaction and confidence.”
South Shore Children’s Chorus’s mission is to provide joyful music education and vocal training to students in South Shore communities and beyond. SSCC reveres the development and well-being of its students as a top priority, aiming to create a safe space and loving community for choristers to learn, grow and to find their own voice. Its programs serve singers ages 4 to 18 who seek a well-rounded choral education. SSCC’s Training Choir engages students in kindergarten through grade two by developing their musicality and voices through song games, movement and listening. SSCC’s Intermediate Choir trains students in grades three through six to develop self-confidence through the medium of vocal music, learn musicianship skills, begin singing in two or three parts and solidify healthy vocal technique. SSCC’s Advanced Choir allows students in grades seven through 12 to engage in an honest and accepting community of passionate singers, develop sight-singing skills, sing challenging and unique repertoire and study vocal technique through performance and rehearsal of a variety of musical genres. As a premiere SSCC ensemble, the Advanced Choir performs at annual SSCC performances and community performances throughout the season.
“Michelle brings a wealth of knowledge to South Shore Children’s Chorus about this region’s cultural landscape, marketing expertise, public relations strategy and organizational experience,” said Oberoi. “Most importantly, she delivers a deep understanding of the love and joy that singing inspires in youth, and is passionate about ensuring our nonprofit’s mission comes to life. Right out of the gate, we’re instantly invested as partners to achieve the vast dream that SSCC aspires to become.”
Oberoi has positioned McGrath as the first point of contact for current families and their student singers, as well as new families contemplating the SSCC community. She will also assist in staff management and engage in organizing SSCC’s administrative architecture to best forge their planned path of expansion.
SSCC was founded in 2016 by Oberoi and her colleague Carey Shunskis. The nonprofit organization debuted with choral classes for singers in prekindergarten through grade nine. The following season, SSCC founded its annual summer programs, and shortly after initiated an Advanced Choir serving high school singers in grades eight to 12. SSCC has collaboratively performed with many music organizations, including The Treble Chorus of New England, Genesis Chamber Singers, Quincy Choral Society and Atlantic Symphony Orchestra. In 2018, South Shore Children’s Chorus expanded to a second rehearsal site in Sharon, and this fall launches its third campus in Hanover.
“The most inspiring facet of Kirsten’s vision, to me, is that she has never turned a student singer away from joining the programs for any reason, whether it be financial, skill level or confidence,” said McGrath. “She believes in every student that comes her way and encourages them to experience the joy of singing and learning together. That is a concept I can completely stand behind right by her side.”
Registration is now open for all fall SSCC programs at Quincy Point Congregational Church, 444 Washington St., Quincy; Sharon Community Center, 219 Massapoag Ave., Sharon; and at its new location this fall at Laura’s Center for the Arts at the YMCA, 97 Mill St., Hanover. SSCC is passionate about access for all chorister students, regardless of financial circumstance. Need-based tuition assistance is available by application. For tuition and complete schedule details, to register, or for more information, visit https://southshorechildrenschorus.org, email Oberoi at [email protected], or McGrath at [email protected], or follow South Shore Children’s Chorus on Facebook and Instagram.