You've probably noticed that this article you're reading is hosted on the Met Chorus Artists website. One might think, "Well, that's just another name for the chorus, right?" But Met Chorus Artists, Inc. is much more than that. Chorister Meredith Woodend, the president of the MCA, Inc. board, is pleased to introduce you to the outreach arm of the Met Chorus...
In the last few years, there has been a great deal of discussion within the Metropolitan Opera Chorus about how we could give back to our community as a group. By community, we mean: the people that live and work in the borough of Manhattan, the people within the tri-state area, and, of course, those that support us by attending performances in New York and world-wide through our Live in HD broadcasts. After a ton of research, as well as guidance from the Met Orchestra Musicians (an already established not-for-profit which is comprised of members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra), we embarked on this journey to create a 501(c)(3). Thus, Met Chorus Artists, Inc. was founded.
Met Chorus Artists, Inc. was created for many reasons. Most importantly, we wanted a way to raise tax-deductible funds to generate outreach and education opportunities within our community. Our goal is to foster a love and appreciation of music, especially opera, during a time when we could really benefit from the beauty and escape that only music can provide. This is what we hope our audience experiences every time they come to see us. We also needed a way to partner with other organizations in the tri-state area that are helping those who need it the most. We are excited about the possibility of giving people who might not otherwise be able to attend an opera, the chance to do just that. Currently our focus is on elementary, middle and high schools students, but we hope to broaden that focus in the near future. We want to encourage the next generation of opera lovers, ensuring that this incredible art form continues for many years to come.
We are also looking for volunteer opportunities to help make a difference right here in our own backyard. From food banks and soup kitchens to mini-concerts in nursing homes and schools, all of these projects are in the works. This past October, as you might recall, we participated in the Lincoln Center Kids Halloween event. We set up a booth to promote kid friendly operas at the Met and get the word out about Met Chorus Artists and the programs we are working on. (Plus we gave away a TON of candy!) Recently, some of our Met Chorus Artists completed a program called "Opera Ambush" at a school in the Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights. It was a huge success that was spearheaded by our very own Mary Hughes.
Additionally, we have an ongoing collaboration with Culture for One, which offers students in foster care the opportunity to take voice lessons with a Met Chorus Artist and attend a performance. Chorister (and MCA Inc. board member) Nathan Carlisle is the man responsible for this mission, and it is starting to garner its own press.
Despite our busy performance schedule, we are continuing to work hard to create more opportunities. Future projects could include: scholarships for high school students, partnering with the Metropolitan Opera Education department to create an Opera Junior Club for elementary or middle school students, and the creation of a fund that can offer tickets to families that might not otherwise be able to experience opera with their children due to financial hardships. These projects are still in the planning phases, so be on the look out for great things.
If you have an opportunity for the Met Chorus Artists to participate in, please let us know. We're ready to work, and are looking forward to hearing from you! If you’d like to provide monetary support, we will gladly accept your donations, which are tax deductible, and the money will be put right into our ongoing projects or into funding a program that is waiting to be realized. We are excited to get to know more of you in our community and look forward to seeing you at our house, the Metropolitan Opera.
For more information or to offer a project idea, please contact:
Meredith Woodend, President
Met Chorus Artists
Meredith Woodend has been a chorister with the Metropolitan Opera since 2013. Prior to that she worked in public relations and finance. She is currently the president of Met Chorus Artists, Inc., and is looking forward to giving back to the community that supports us through every production. She was adopted by a snuggly, toothless cat named Pico in 2011.