Hudson choral director adds another credit to her resume


By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer

Lisa Schliker, new choral director of the River’s Edge Youth Chorus Photo/Ed Karvoski Jr.
Lisa Schliker, new choral director of the River’s Edge Youth Chorus
Photo/Ed Karvoski Jr.

Hudson – A typical weekday for lifelong Hudson resident Lisa Schliker begins by waking up at 5 a.m. She instructs indoor cycling or spin at 5:45 three mornings a week. After reporting to a fulltime office job, she attends rehearsals nearly each of those evenings. Yet, she recently added another credit to her resume. Schliker is the new choral director of the River’s Edge Youth Chorus, a program of the River’s Edge Arts Alliance for ages 8 to 18.

“I love seeing people enjoy music,” she said. “They might struggle starting off, so you need to have faith in the group. When they get up and perform, then my job is done. It’s great to see how they grow.”

Schliker began pursuing an interest in music by joining her church’s children’s choir as soon as she reached the eligible age. There wasn’t a group comparable to the River’s Edge Youth Chorus in the area at the time, so she got involved in the Little Singers of Greater Boston based in Natick.

“My parents would drive me to Natick to find something similar to this chorus,” she recalled. “It’s nice to now have this here in the community.”

Her involvement in the performing arts grew while attending Hudson High School (HHS), where she graduated in 1990. Each of the four years she participated in the chorus and theatrical productions. As her mentor she credits Paul Johnson, who is now retired as HHS’s choral and drama director after 32 years.

She also performed in the Hudson Drama Workshop’s first two summertime musicals. Later, the Arts Alliance was formed and has since been producing the program as the Summer Drama Workshop.

Schliker earned a degree in music education at the Hartt School of the University of Hartford.

“The most valuable lesson I learned there was to always be flexible in your life,” she noted. “College allowed me to open my horizons and look at things from all different angles.”

She has since directed and sung with community choruses from Marlborough to Acton. Now, she sings with the River’s Edge Chorale, an adult program of the River’s Edge Arts Alliance, which rehearses at HHS and is directed by her mentor.

“Everything is very cyclical in the community,” she noted. “I’m nostalgic, so it’s very interesting to sit in the HHS chorus room with Paul Johnson directing.”

Since 1996, she has directed the adult choir of the First United Methodist Church of Hudson, which sings at its Sunday service.

“I love their enthusiasm,” she said. “With a church choir, I can go from having three singers one week to up to 15 the next week, so you need to have that flexibility of what pieces are going to fit the voices.”

Several years ago, Schliker accepted a challenge when the church needed a new hand bell choir director.

“I’d never even played hand bells and here I am getting ready to direct them, but it worked out well,” she relayed. “They’re giving up a night of their life to help me follow my passion, so I try to make it fun for them.”

She also directed the church’s children’s chorus, which disbanded about 10 years ago.

“It’s been so long since I’ve worked with kids, so I’m looking forward to seeing their bright, shiny faces and hearing their lovely voices,” Schliker said. “I’m also looking forward to the finished product for the Holiday Concert.”

The fall season of the youth chorus will culminate with the Holiday Concert to be presented Sunday, Dec. 14, at HHS. The concert with also feature the River’s Edge Chorale and the River’s Edge Community Band.

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