“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” – Plato
Music is the one true universal language, and it is a language of peace, passion, and love. Music flows from and embraces all cultures, all colors, all religions, all ages. Music empowers, as Plato said, giving a soul to the universe and wings to the mind of both musician and listener. We believe this can be a foundation toward a better understanding of each other as well as diverse nations and peoples.
The Polymnia Choral Society is a group of musicians who meet to express themselves in song, to become empowered, to learn.
Polymnia is active not only in Melrose, where we rehearse, but serves surrounding communities as well. Singers come from several cities and towns on the North Shore, including Wakefield, Saugus, Malden, Stoneham, and as far away as Topsfield. We perform three concerts a year in Melrose and in Wakefield. We also sing seasonal songs and carols on one Saturday during the Holiday Season at The Savings Bank in Wakefield.
Each spring, Polymnia encourages high school students from all over the North Shore to participate in its “Spotlight on High School Talent.” The competition empowers young people by offering them the opportunity to select, rehearse, and perform—in audition and in concert—a piece of their choosing. Talents include singing, dancing, playing an instrument; one year a young man won with his original composition scored for a string quartet. Polymnia’s Music Director and Accompanist hold the auditions and winners perform their solos with Polymnia at the June Pops Concert or other concerts, as appropriate.
In 2014, Polymnia was awarded a Cultural Portfolio Peer grant to form a partnership with an under-resourced middle school in Malden. Polymnia members and professional soloists and instrumentalists and the school’s music students performed an abridged version of Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas at a school assembly. This opportunity to bring the world of serious music to an ethnically diverse, economically challenged, youthful population is continuing into the spring of 2016 with a performance of a different major work.
The most important benefit that Polymnia provides is bringing camaraderie, sense of purpose, and musical and cultural growth to its members, as well as affording Melrose and surrounding communities many occasions to experience live performances of high-quality choral music, ranging from Beethoven to Broadway, newly commissioned musical works, multicultural selections from around the world, and classic choral standards. The continuing growth in membership and ever-expanding audiences testifies to the Polymnia Choral Society’s success and its importance to people of all ages in Melrose and neighboring communities.