Making Beautiful Music By Terry Callahan

That’s what happens when the Allegro Academy choirs perform. Allegro Academy in Easton is a small non-profit music conservatory with its goal of inspiring a lifelong appreciation for the joy of music, welcomes all ages and skill levels. Allegro hopes to enrich the lives of musicians and enthusiasts of all ages and incomes in the community through public instrumental and choral performances, workshops, ensembles, and lessons.
Allegro’s artistic director, Amy Morgan, describes the group’s beginnings. “At Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, where I serve as music director, a small group began hosting concerts and we called ourselves “Allegro.” It was soon apparent that what could be done would reach beyond the walls of our Cathedral and out into the community; the first idea was to form the Allegro Children’s Chorus.” In 2018 Allegro hosted its first Summer Sing and the Allegra! Women’s Chorus came soon after.”
The Children’s Chorus demonstrates “that singing and creativity comes naturally to everyone. Young singers do not need to read from a score or be trained in rhythm and notes in order to make music. These skills are of course taught and developed over time, but it is a reminder of the potential musician in all of us. It is so enjoyable to know the singers and watch how they come to know each other. After weeks of rehearsals they have made friends who they otherwise would not have contact with.” Selections can include familiar songs, to Disney, to folk songs. “Most importantly, the songs reinforce musical ideas and are fun to sing together.”
Allegra! is a select group of 16 whose repertoire highlights the female perspective and the work of female composers. “It is a group of like-minded, dedicated, enthusiastic women, openness to creativity, their eagerness to share and support their community.” The singers range in experience from semi-professional to professional, with the majority of them working as professional musicians. Ensemble member Katie Cox says, “I love singing with the choir because it is a delightful group of women who are all wonderful musicians. Even rehearsals over Zoom are fun because everyone wants to be there and works hard on their own time to make the brief digital rehearsals effective.”
Performance selections are built around themes. “Our Children’s Chorus programs have included holiday music, music from stage and screen, and I Will Sing, featuring songs about singers and music-making. Additionally, Allegra! gave a stunning performance last fall of folk songs, spirituals, and sacred music titled Songs of Home.”
Musical choices relate directly to the ensemble and occasion for which they are performed. The repertoire can span centuries, from works more than 400 years old to those of living composers.” Amy explains, “What you may hear on a program can span many years but a connection is shared between all. It is important to us to not only make music, but share songs that speak to our community. Examples of this would be the song “Ubuntu,” about our connection to each other and “Stone Circles,” which states “nobody is an island, everything I am is in your hand.”
Due to the pandemic, all lessons and rehearsals have shifted to virtual meetings. Allegro has been working with programs that allow members to record from home. Several of the recordings will be used in fall and holiday programming. An innovative way to bring music to the community is the “Sing Out Together” initiative. “We have not had the opportunity to sing together in real time, so we started “Sing Out Together,” a sing-along event on First Fridays. Working with WCEI and Discover Easton, anyone can tune in where they are and sing one song together. This can be done from home or by joining a group gathered on Harrison Street. This has been our only opportunity to hear each other’s voices in person.”
The next “Sing Out” will be December 4 at 6 pm, a “fun and familiar” Christmas song. “We are also planning a free virtual concert on December 17 at 7pm through Youtube and Facebook live. There will be solos, duets, and virtual choirs offering some familiar carols and new arrangements. In 2021 we are planning the Young Singers Academy, an online series of singing classes offered at no cost to any family in Talbot County, Singing 101 for adults, and more virtual performances.”
“I am blessed to work with a number of different musicians, all ages and experiences, who come together to do what they love,” says Amy. “I believe the community has responded positively to our organization, and we are here for them! We love to make music and cannot keep it to ourselves.”
For more information on Allegro Academy programs, contact Amy Morgan at 410-603-8361 or amy@allegroacademyeaston.com or view Allegro on Facebook or its website, allegroacademyeaston.com, where donation information can be found under Contact Us/Support Us.

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