By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer
Northborough – Sixteen students taking an adult education music class in 1972 were just not ready for their singing group to dissolve on the last day of class. The students’ enthusiasm and their teacher Anthony Volpe’s love for music were the drive to create the Northborough Area Community Chorus (NACC).
The NACC is now in its 45th year and director and founder Volpe has seen the group steadily grow with as many as 70 members at one point. Currently, the group has 55 members from 16 surrounding towns with member ages ranging from college to 90 years old.
Volpe was the music director for many years at local schools including Algonquin Regional High School. His teaching continues as the chorus director.
“Music has been a part of my life,” he said. “The chorus has been a labor of love. We have gone through a lot of music over the years; I have over 600 selections in boxes.”
Volpe has also written his own music and lyrics, which he may publish one day.
One of the original members and historian for the group Mary Desautels said it has been a wonderful group for her.
“Tony is a genius with music and directing,” she said. “Many of us have been together for such a long time; we are truly a family and support one another.”
Volpe feels the same way.
“We care about one another,” he said. “We have a strong community feeling.”
In the past, the group has traveled to London and regularly takes trips to New York City for a Broadway show. Volpe is usually the group planner.
The NACC rehearses on Tuesday evenings and each year performs a spring concert and a Christmas concert. This past spring, the group presented “America in Song,” a tribute to Northborough’s 250th anniversary celebration.
Desautels said that to become a member is easy.
“Just come with a desire to sing,” she said. “There are no auditions to join.”
This year’s Christmas concert will be held Sunday, Dec. 4, at 3:15 p.m. at the P. Brent Trottier Middle School, 49 Parkerville Road, in Southborough. Tickets are $5. Volpe promises selections of classical and old-time favorites that all ages will enjoy. Santa is expected to make an appearance.
Accompanist for the chorus is David Rose from Shrewsbury who has played the piano since he was 5.
“He plays the piano magnificently,” said Desautels.
She noted that the group is multi-talented as many members are actors who participate in local community theater productions.
The group also performs for nursing homes, holds benefit concerts for local organizations, and offers a scholarship to the children of chorus members who choose to continue their education.
The NACC is a nonprofit organization and is supported in part by grants from the Northborough, Shrewsbury and Marlborough cultural councils, as well as the Massachusetts Cultural Council. More information on the NACC can be found at www.nacc.net and on their Facebook page.