The Midcoast Community Chorus (MCC) is a vibrant and dynamic non-profit organization inspired by Mimi Bornstein, who now serves as Artistic Director. With Ms. Bornstein’s creative vision and charismatic leadership, the group’s history began in 2005 when more than 130 community members and local musicians gathered to perform Paul Winter’s Missa Gaia in celebration of Earth Day. This event, sponsored by the First Universalist Church in Rockland where Ms. Bornstein served as Choral Director for 13 years, brought together singers representing several generations and a wide range of musical skills. Performing to a sold-out audience of over 800 at the Strom Auditorium at Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport, Maine, the chorus raised $10,000 for Tanglewood 4-H Camp, the first beneficiary of Ms. Bornstein’s vision to “harness the power of music to build community and change lives.”
In early 2007, again sponsored by the First Universalist Church, the chorus performed the highly acclaimed Neighbor to Neighbor Concert: Music to Feed Our Friends, raising $12,000 for Area Interfaith Outreach Food Pantry, an organization focused on hunger needs in Knox County. At this point, it became clear that there was a community of singers who were enthusiastic and willing to commit their voices and time to support community causes through singing.
In September 2007, Midcoast Community Chorus was launched as an independent organization by Ms. Bornstein and a group of volunteers who brought their dedication and varied skills to this endeavor. Two individual donors stepped forward with significant financial gifts for startup costs, a Board of Trustees was formed, and Ms. Bornstein was hired as the Artistic and Executive Director. The Board filed articles of incorporation in early January 2008 and in April 2008 received tax-exempt status as a 501c3 organization from the IRS.
Singing As A Community
Founded on the belief that everyone has a voice that deserves to be heard, and that powerful things happen when we sing together in community, MCC is a multi-generational non-auditioned chorus offering a supportive environment for anyone who wants to sing. Performing music of hope, healing, transformation and peace from all over the world, singers are given a place to find voice for themselves and give voice to some of the issues of our time. In 2011, MCC expanded to include a children’s chorus for singers 6–12 years of age and in 2013 a fifty-voice auditioned adult chorale was formed.
MCC provides musical education programs, monthly community sing programs, workshops and film screenings all designed to further support its mission. In addition, MCC has served as a model for other nascent community choral programs around the country.
Singing For The Community
Midcoast Community Chorus performs at least two concerts per year. Our June concerts raise funds and awareness for worthy non-profit organizations addressing issues and injustices in our community. Our January concerts raise money for the ongoing operational expenses of the chorus. Past concert beneficiaries have included Knox County Health Clinic, New Hope For Women, Five Town Communities That Care, Maine Farmland Trust, and Restorative Justice Project. MCC has raised and donated nearly $50,000 to date for its concert beneficiaries. Our June 2014 concert beneficiary is Knox County Homeless Coalition.
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