The Fine Arts Chorale is celebrating its 50 Anniversary this May. In the fall of 1966, Peter L. Edwards, organist and choir director of Old South Union Church in South Weymouth, invited singers from local churches to come together to perform Handel’s Messiah. This group under Peter’s direction chose to continue the association and became the core of what is today the Fine Arts Chorale. In succeeding years the Chorale would perform locally with the Brockton Symphony Orchestra, the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra and the Boston Symphony as part of the Symphony Youth Concerts.
Based in Weymouth, the Fine Arts Chorale has performed classical choral works, giving three concerts a year throughout the south shore and Boston. In the summer of 1980 the schedule was expanded to include a European tour. At the invitation of the European Choral Symposium, and to benefit UNICEF, the Chorale gave concerts in London, Innsbruck and Salzburg. In 1985 the FAC was invited to perform at the Dubrovnik Music Festival in Yugoslavia and the Pendelli Festival in Athens, Greece. The following year, the Chorale again traveled to Yugoslavia and to Italy where they sang Puccini’s Missa di Gloria accompanied by the Rijeka Philharmonic Orchestra and in the presence of Puccini’s granddaughter. Also in l986, at Sander’s Theatre, the Chorale performed the American debut of Hayg Boyadjian’s moving memorial to the Armenian genocide, Time of Silence. In the summer of 1993, the Chorale returned to Europe to perform at St. David’s Cathedral, Wales; St. Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland; and Canterbury Cathedral in England.
After 34 years, founder and musical director of the Fine Arts Chorale, Peter Edwards, retired in 2001, and the Chorale chose its second musical director, Dr. Libor Dudas. Libor greatly expanded the FAC repertoire to include famous opera selections. In April of 2006 the Chorale presented a very successful concert of opera favorites including Act I of Verdi’s “La Traviata” at the Duxbury Performing Arts Center. On several occasions the Chorale was invited to sing in OldNorth Church in Boston’s North End where Libor served as organist and choirmaster. In April, 2009, Libor, in conjunction with Ars et Amici, led a group of FAC members to his native Croatia where they performed in several concerts. In May, 2009, he led the Chorale in the first North American performance of Donizetti’s “Messa di Requiem”.
In May of 2009 Dr. Dudas retired and, in September 2009, Richard Travers became the third musical director of the Fine Arts Chorale. The FAC continues to welcome singers from throughout the SouthShore and surrounding areas to come together to perform major choral works.