P.O. Box 366 Godfrey, Illinois 62035

Raynard Brown, Music Director

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Great Rivers Choral Society Names Raynard Brown Music Director

Godfrey, Ill. – After an intensive nine-month search process, Great Rivers Choral Society Board of Directors have approved the Search Committee's recommendation to hire Raynard Brown as GRCS's Music Director, effective July 1, 2019.

The Alton native holds a Master of Arts-Education degree from Lindenwood University and currently serves as Choral Director and Musical Theater Vocal Coach at Grand Center Arts Academy. In addition, Brown is an Adjunct Professor of Music Education at the University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL). His previous appointments include Maryville University, St. Louis (Choral Director and Adjunct Professor, Choral Conducting); Choir Director, Gospel Music Workshops of America; and as a clinician at American Choral Directors Conference and Kantorei Summer Choral Institute.

"I am very excited to be joining the Great Rivers Choral Society," Brown shared. "During my visit in January, I was very impressed with the warm welcome I was given. The singers have a nice balance and blend, and, most importantly, they care a great deal about the future of the GRCS. I can already see how we can begin to bring out additional dimensions in GRCS’ repertoire."

GRCS Vice President Paul Guccione, who helped guide the chorus through the search process, agreed with Brown, saying, "The Committee gave a great deal of weight to the views of the singers; and I think having him conduct a rehearsal as part of the interview process gave us insights into his approach. This is an exciting transition for us.”

Guccione added, “We were fortunate to have several terrific, qualified candidates, and we appreciate the opportunity to discuss our needs with each of them. We felt Raynard Brown was the best fit for our organization at this time.”

Brown will be taking over from Dr. Ron Abraham, who is retiring after nine years as the GRCS music director. Pat Stewart, president of the Board of Directors, said, “This chorus has grown enormously under Dr. Abraham’s direction, and he has our heartfelt thanks. We wish him well in his next adventure, as we look forward to continuing our journey under new leadership. 

Raynard Brown’s appointment was formally approved by the Board at its regularly scheduled meeting on February 7. He will take up the baton with the new season of the Great Rivers Choral Society beginning in Fall of 2019. The concert schedule will be announced later this Spring.

For more information, visit grcs-sing.org or call (618) 292-4742. 

Our Mission

The purpose of Great Rivers Choral Society, Inc,. is to promote, encourage and foster the educational and cultural enrichment of its members and residents of communities located in southwestern Illinois and Missouri near the conjunction of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois rivers through study and performance of choral music by:

Establishing an adult chorus of mixed voices that will strive to grow in ability and excellence continually. Creating a learning atmosphere conducive to the skill development of its members by utilizing a music repertoire diverse in style.

Promoting and cultivating interest in, and appreciation of, choral music through performances. 
Demonstrating concern for cultural enrichment within the community by various means, such as, but not limited to, the implementation of youth-focused educational opportunities such as choral experience and in-school programs, and talent-based vocal music scholarships.

Other than fund-raising events, our concerts are free, though free-will offerings are appreciated.

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