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Crystal Coast Choral Society History

In an effort to bring more arts exposure to the community, some local citizens saw the need for a community-based chorus that could present high-quality concerts with free admission for their audiences. Thus, in October of 1986, the Swansboro Community Chorus was born.

With the guidance of the late Delbert Bowles, an experienced conductor and musician, 40 vocalists came together to share their love of choral music with others. In December of 1987, the name of the chorus changed to the Crystal Coast Choral Society, Inc., a non-profit organization.

Upon Mr. Bowles retirement in 1992, Finley Woolston assumed the position of Music Conductor. Under his guidance, the group has continued to grow and excel in the performance of sacred and secular music. It is not unusual to find the chorus performing pop, folk, and gospel, as well as classical music from the 15th to the 21st centuries.

In the past Choral Society members joined with UNC-Wilmington music students for a two-week concert tour of Germany in 1994 and in 2010, they performed and recorded the Mozart Requiem with their Concert Choir and Chamber singers and the Wilmington Chamber Orchestra. Since 2002 we have been invited to join an international chorus in New York City performing great works at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center multiple times. Examples of these classical works have included Vivaldi's Gloria, Faure's Requiem, Karl Jenkins's Armed Man, A Mass for Peace, and Stabat Mater; and Handel's Messiah, which members have been invited to perform each year since 2012. Today 55-65 singers, primarily representing Onslow and Carteret counties and occasionally adjacent counties as well, and coming from Richlands to Beaufort and Havelock to Topsail Island, merge to make beautiful music.

Two major concerts are presented in December and two each spring. Throughout the year we occasionally participate in other musical events. Local performances have been presented at Cape Carteret, Emerald Isle, Jacksonville, Morehead City, New Bern, Newport, Richlands, Snead's Ferry, and Swansboro. We have also been honored to participate in events at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, New River Air Station, and Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point.

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