The Midcoast Community Chorus (MCC) is a vibrant and dynamic non-profit organization inspired by Mimi Bornstein and led most recently by Artistic Director Steve Weston. 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, 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 the 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.
In 2017, Ms. Bornstein moved on to become Music Director of a large Universalist church in Arlington, VA.
Steve Weston took the reins as Artistic Director, bringing with him a background rich background as a music educator, professional flautist and professional chorister, singing with the New Mexico Singers, Showcase Chamber Ensemble, Las Vegas Chamber Singers, Divisi and Vox Nova Chamber Choir, as well as directing middle school choral programs with 100 plus singers, high school choral programs with 200 plus singers and the Bangor Area Children’s Choir.
As an educator, Mr. Weston brought the joy of singing, choral singing, and musicianship to children ages 8 through 18, young adults studying music and adults seeking to further their involvement in musical endeavors. His personal enjoyment of choral music becomes a catalyst of achievement and passion for those that sing under him. He remains passionate about safe, correct singing that leads to a lifelong enjoyment.
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 2013, MCC expanded to include a fifty-voice auditioned adult chorale.
MCC provides musical education opportunities and small group offerings to further support its mission. In addition, MCC has served as a model for other nascent community choral programs around the country.
Now in its 20th semester, the MCC has performed a wide body of work across the un-auditioned community chorus and auditioned chorale. Our numbers have been as high as 160, creating a glorious noise that truly raised the roof. We continue our work of identifying and partnering with other organizations that believe in helping our community through their own work.
When we sing, we change who we are.
When we change who we are, we change the world.