Article by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.
One of the oldest continuously run choirs in the SCA is the Pennsic Choir. Founded at Pennsic XVI in 1987 by Mistress Josselyn ferch Rhys of the West Kingdom, each year it brings Scadians from all over the Known World together to rehearse for a week and then perform a concert of Medieval and Renaissance choral music for the enjoyment of the Pennsic populace. Choir members have come from every Kingdom in the U.S. and Canada as well as Lochac and Drachenwald.
The Pennsic Choir
The Pennsic Choir is an open choir that anyone can join. There is no audition or requirement for prior singing experience. All you need to do is download the music from the Known World Choir website to practice in the lead-up to Pennsic, and then attend the daily rehearsals that run from 10 a.m. to 12 noon from Thursday of Peace Week through the middle of War Week. The concert is held on Thursday of War Week in the early evening at the Performing Arts Tent in the University district. If you plan to sing in the Pennsic Choir, please also go to the choir’s webpage on the Pennsic War website and register. It really helps the director to plan – if we know that we’ve got a major imbalance of certain sections, we can boost recruitment for the smaller sections. That said, well, it’s a choir, so we always need tenors!
Children, Youth, and Select Pennsic Choirs
In recent years, responding to demand from those who love choral music, the Pennsic Choir added a select, audition-based choir of 8 to 16 voices called Chorulus Pennsicus, as well as a Children’s Choir and a Youth Choir. All four choirs perform in the joint Thursday evening concert.
Directors for Pennsic 44
At Pennsic 44, three of the four Pennsic Choirs will be directed by gentles from Æthelmearc: THLord Kieran MacRae will conduct the Children’s Choir, Lady Rachel Dalicieux will direct the Youth Choir, and Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope will direct the full adult Pennsic Choir. Chorulus Pennsicus will be directed by Lord Cailin mac Aindréis of the Midrealm, who directed the adult Pennsic Choir at Pennsic 43.
If you or your children are interested in singing with any of the Pennsic Choirs, check out the Known World Choir website. Each choir has its own page, and there are also pages with resources for those more generally interested in choral music. Music for this year’s full adult choir is already available for download, and information on rehearsal and performance schedules for all four choirs has been posted. As Pennsic approaches, the website will be updated with additional information on the songs for each of the choirs.
The video below is from the Pennsic Choir performance at Pennsic 39:
– Video by Master Robyn Solarius.