Copley Singers a Staple at St. Mary’s Each Holiday Season

The Copley Singers always seem to find their way to Charlestown in the Christmas season, and this Saturday night, Dec. 14, they will return for their annual spectacular.

The Singers enjoy their tour, which includes Charlestown’s St. Mary’s Church, St. Cecelia’s in Back Bay and a concert in Concord. It is part of their holiday tour, and one that came out of the idea of service and healing.

“We’ve been around 11 or 12 years now, depending on how you determine when we started,” said Will Biedron, president of the Singers. “Many of the singers began singing with our former Director Brian Jones at Trinity Church in Back Bay. He was the choir director at Trinity Church for about 20 years.”

The Singers began to organize more than a decade ago when a member of their choir experienced a death in the family, and an impromptu group of singers assembled to perform at the funeral.

“It was just really well received,” he said. “It was well outside the normal boundaries of a church choir. We performed shortly after at a country club for a holiday concert. From there, it wasn’t long when we all thought that we really had something and decided this was worthwhile and something we should give a purpose to and a name.”

Because they were located mostly in the Back Bay’s Trinity Church, they chose the Copley Singers.

“The concert at St. Mary’s in Charlestown was probably the first thing that emerged from that,” he said, “and followed by St. Cecilia’s.”

The group is a very high-quality group made of about 35 regular singers that come together to sing, most times with very few rehearsals, Biedron said.

“It’s a really high-quality group and what’s more, it’s a semi-professional group,” he said. “We don’t rehearse regularly. For the concerts, we will only rehearse two times and that’s because there are many great musicians and great sight readers. When you have a group that knows each other and supports each other, and has been to one another’s home – when you do all that it makes people sing with heart and soul and conviction.”

The Singers have a new director since last fall, Andy Clarkson, who has come up from the ranks of the singers to lead the group. Under Clarkson, the group has become even more energized and ready to perform at their three-stop tour.

“We live for it,” said Biedron. “This is our time of year. It’s when our blood is pumping.”

The same is true for the audiences, he said. Most every place they sing, they are invited back – which has been the case at St. Mary’s where Lee Eiseman has been the coordinator for the Singers locally.

In Charlestown, the newly restored Woodbury & Harris organ will be used on about half of the program this Sunday. The remainder of the program will be a cappella.

Beyond the musical program, however, Biedron said the mission of the Singers is about healing – which was how they formed in helping their friend heal from the loss of a loved one.

“Celebration and healing are what we are,” he said. “We’re a group that takes the celebration and healing part very seriously. It’s the core of what we are. We take that about as seriously as you can imagine. It’s how we were formed and it’s more important than making ends meet sometimes.”

The Copley Singers assemble year-round for special singing events, and have considered a spring concert, but have a regular series for the holidays.

The St. Mary’s Concert is Sunday, Dec. 15, at 3:30 p.m. (55 Warren St.).

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