Ashland’s Masterworks Chorale names Sinden as new director

David Linden

David Sinden

David Sinden, already a vital leader in the music community of the Richmond area, will take on an additional new role this fall. He becomes the artistic director of the Central Virginia Masterworks Chorale (CVMC) as the group begins its seventh year with rehearsals beginning Sept. 9.

Sinden, who continues to serve as organist and minister of music at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, is enthusiastic about his new endeavor with this established choir and has expressed high praise for the Ashland-based group. Founded less than a decade ago, the CVMC “has already sung a good number of the choral masterworks in the [traditional] repertoire,” he said. “I am deeply impressed by the positive energy and hard work that have made the chorale such a vibrant organization.”

Sinden is looking forward to the upcoming chorale season and “getting to know the chorale as we make music together for the first time. I hope that we can explore real masterworks — both European standards and newer works, especially American ones.”

With music degrees from Indiana University and Oberlin College and past choral conducting experience in Indiana, Ohio, and New York, Sinden is a firm believer in the value of group vocal performance: “Once someone has sung in a choir he or she returns to choral singing again and again. Something happens to us when we sing, both on an individual level and a collective one.”

He cited scientific studies that indicate chemical changes within the brain of an individual singer and the synchronization of heartbeats within a group of singers. But “what matters to most singers in a choir is the experience,” Sinden emphasized. “It engages and energizes everyone in its embrace.”

Listeners are similarly affected by choral music, Sinden pointed out. “Audiences can hear the chemistry of individual voices distilling into a living whole. Also, I think people seek out the transformative effects of music on written words. Because of these things, choral music is richly imbued with meaning, and I feel that is part of the reason that audiences are so captivated by great choral music.”

This fall’s weekly rehearsals begin Monday, Sept. 9, from 7-9:15 p.m. at Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church, 201 Henry Street, in Ashland. Sopranos, altos, tenors, and basses are needed for the chorale’s December 2013 concert of festive music, with performances in Ashland and Richmond. Formal musical training is not a requirement, although previous experience with choral singing and some reading ability are encouraged. To learn more about singing with the chorale this fall, please contact David Sinden at (804) 545-5406 or cvmc.director@gmail.com.

The CVMC is an independent non-profit group that offers singers from the Richmond metropolitan area an opportunity to learn and perform choral music ranging from secular and sacred songs to longer musical masterworks. Among composers whose works have been performed or are in the offing, are Vivaldi, Handel, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Fauré, along with more contemporary artists including Benjamin Britten, Aaron Copland, Morten Lauridsen, and Eric Whitacre.

Each year the group presents a concert at the end of the fall season and another at the end of the spring season. The chorale also performs from time to time in local retirement communities and at Ashland community events.

For further information, please contact Becky Severin, CVMC, at (804) 798-3999 or rvseverin@gmail.com.

Posted on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at 4:17 pm