Communiversity Choir Presents 25th Holiday Concert
The Kent State Salem Communiversity Choir will celebrate its 25th anniversary during its annual holiday concert at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17, in the City Center auditorium.
The free public concert will feature the blended voices of Kent State students, faculty and community members as they present “Silver Bells,” under the direction of Melissa Fucci, associate professor of music at Kent State Salem.
Dr. Ann Waters, the founding director of the choir, will speak at the concert and former director, Kerry Glann, will conduct a portion of the performance.
The choir will offer a variety of songs, including favorite selections from the last 25 holiday seasons, accompanied by area professional musicians and members of the Quaker City Band, while the Salem Community Theatre will perform, as well.
Following the concert, Kent State Salem’s Undergraduate Student Government will host a reception on the first floor, while students from the early childhood education program will offer a craft station for children, as well as a story time and a visit from Santa.
The Creative Learning Center: The Salem Storybook Museum Revisited will welcome visitors that day to see a display of nearly 300 lighted houses, buildings and scenes. It is located on the first floor of the City Center.
Collection boxes will be set up for donations of new, unwrapped toys for the Toys for Tots campaign, also marking the 25th year of this collaborative outreach between Kent State Salem and the U.S. Marines.
The Kent State Salem choir was the “brainchild” of former campus dean Dr. James Cooney, who wanted to strengthen ties to the local community. It began in 1991 as a small student chorus, known as the Kent State University Salem Campus Choir, and developed into a community choral group, now named the Communiversity Choir.
The choir is known for its eclectic blend of singers and songs, representing a diverse range of musical genres. This year’s choir is made up of more than 30 vocalists.
Over the years, the choir has performed in area churches, in the lecture hall on the Salem Campus and in the City Center auditorium, as well as with musical groups on the Kent Campus.
Waters was the first director, followed by the late Dr. Jeffrey Nolte (former dean of the Columbiana County campuses), Glann and Fucci.
This is Fucci’s seventh year as director of the Communiversity choir. She began teaching music at Kent State in 1998 and has been on the Salem Campus since 2010. At Kent State, she served as choral director, musical theatre music director, course instructor and as the education coordinator at Porthouse Theatre Academy.
Fucci has been a music mentor on the Music!Words!Opera! project with Opera Cleveland; a music faculty member at University School; the music and movement specialist at the Cain Park School for the Arts; and has directed numerous productions at Porthouse Theatre, Kent State and other venues.
She is a performer and private instructor of keyboards and woodwinds, while also conducting a wide variety of choral and instrumental ensembles.
Fucci earned her Bachelor of Music in Performance from Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music and her Master of Music in Conducting from Kent State. She also holds a certificate in early childhood music from the Gordon Institute of Music Learning.
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Photo: Members of the Kent State Salem Communiversity Choir practice for the upcoming holiday performance, marking its 25th anniversary.