HomeArts & EntertainmentThe Toledo Choral Society: A Centennial Legacy

The Toledo Choral Society: A Centennial Legacy

Choral performance, a musical art form showcasing an organized group of singers, dates back to the 2nd Century with theatrical dramas in Ancient Greece. Many cultures have adapted the practice of group singing while including powerful solos and sweeping harmonies.

The Toledo Choral Society has thrived for over 100 years, providing elements that make the sounds of a choir so majestic and powerful. 

The Beginning of a Legacy 

The Toledo Choral Society was founded in 1919 by Mary Willing Megley, a dedicated lover of music. A talented and passionate musical performer from an early age, Megley refined her craft and worked to become a respected pianist and instructor, as well as a composer. 

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She held several roles in Toledo’s Collingwood Ave. area churches, including organist and choir director, before eventually being selected as the conductor for The Toledo Choral Society. She held that position for 35 years, beginning with the Society’s first performance, Handel’s Messiah, in the Scott High School Auditorium. 

Despite retiring as conductor in 1954, Megley stayed connected to the local music scene until her death in 1968. Her influence paved the way for the continued existence and success of today’s Chorale Society, which takes pride in its outreach to students of all ages, genders, ethnic backgrounds and heritages, drawn together by the love of group singing. 

Auditions and Upcoming Events

Acceptance into the Society requires a vocal audition, however, the society welcomes anyone with an interest to attend rehearsals to audition and to share in the collective song.  Under the current direction of Richard Napierala and accompanist Andreea Lee, The Choral Society has upcoming performances, including Handel’s Messiah on December 3 at Gesu Church and holiday concerts on December 10, 16 and 17. For dates, times and ticket prices, visit the Toledo Choral Society’s website.

Mary Willing Megley’s strong influence still guides the Society along the path of music and harmony, providing an outlet for listeners and artistic souls with a love for choral performance. 

The Choral Society welcomes anyone to audition, Mondays, 7 pm – 9 pm at St. Ursula Academy, 4025 Indian Road. toledochoralsociety.org.

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