Grand Monadnock Youth Choirs' Cecilia Ensemble

Grand Monadnock Youth Choirs (GMYC) is delighted to announce that the Cecilia Ensemble will present their Italy 2020 Homecoming Performances on Father’s Day weekend. The performances come after a long hiatus due to Covid-19, and celebrate the ensemble’s successful tour of Italy in February 2020. Under the direction of Esther Rhoades with pianist Christopher Evatt, the full-length performances will feature music by both Italian and American composers from a variety of eras and musical styles.

Grand Monadnock Youth Choir

In February, 2020, the ensemble embarked on a trip of a lifetime; the singers completed an eight-day concert tour of Italy just as Covid-19 was quickly spreading in the Lombardi region of the country. “We all felt the gravity of the situation, and tried to navigate a difficult situation with grace,” Rhoades reflected. The choirs were still able to complete three formal performances in Rome, Florence, and Lucca, and dozens of street performances in airports, restaurants, piazzas, hotels, museums, and the even the Vatican. The ensemble was flexible and strong in the face of challenge.

The Cecilia Ensemble met remotely to finish Spring 2020’s season, but “it didn’t feel like the Italy Tour had come to a close – we hadn’t even had our Homecoming performances yet,” remembered Rhoades. “The singers and I needed to come together again, to be together to celebrate their accomplishments, and to provide closure to such an uncertain time.”

Grand Monadnock Youth Choir

Since April 2021, Cecilia Ensemble singers who traveled to Italy in February 2020, including graduated seniors, have been rehearsing outside, donning singers masks, and distancing. From windy, cold spring afternoons to hot, sun-filled summer evenings, the choir has rehearsed their Tour Repertoire, dedicated to each other and their performance. Finally, they will present their homecoming concerts.

On Saturday June 19th at 7:00 p.m., the choir will perform outside at Cathedral of the Pines, 10 Hale Hill Road in Rindge. On Sunday June 20th at 7:00 p.m., the choir will perform at Robin Hood Park, Roxbury Road in Keene. Guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs, blankets, and dinner to Robin Hood Park. Suggested donation is $10 per adult, and $20 per family, but donations of any amount are gratefully accepted, and everyone is welcome. Please visit our website ( for further details about the concert weekend and information about the two specific venues. If you cannot make it to the concerts but want to invest in GMYC’s programming, please donate today by visiting

About the Cecilia Ensemble

The Cecilia Ensemble, directed by Esther Rhoades with collaborative pianist, Christopher Evatt, is one of the five choirs that makes up the Grand Monadnock Youth Choirs. It is the region’s premier high school treble chorus performing both sacred and secular repertoire drawing from a range of languages, cultures, time periods, and traditions. With rehearsals only once per week for two hours, these singers must be self-motivated, responsible individuals and dedicated musicians ready to learn high-level music. The choir is auditioned, and is made financially accessible to all accepted singers.

This fine treble choir takes an international concert tour every two years. In the past, the choir has traveled to Canada, Germany, Czechia, Spain, Italy, Austria, Hungary, and France. In 2020, the ensemble toured Italy.

The members of the Cecilia Ensemble are very active in school and community events, they play sports, are active in theater, music, language programs, and community service. Graduates pursue diverse paths, often motivated by their love of music and passion for world cultures and languages. They are inspiring and unique individuals!

Auditions for the Cecilia Ensemble will take place in August for all singers entering grades 9 – 12 in Fall 2021. All accepted singers will begin rehearsals in late August and continue through the academic year. If you or someone you know may be interested in auditioning for GMYC, you can learn more and schedule an audition at our website

Grand Monadnock Youth Choirs is the performance-based choral music program for young singers in the Monadnock Region. We have served thousands of singers in five different choirs drawing from more than 20 towns in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts. GMYC will be auditioning singers in grades 4 and higher to start in the Fall 2021. If you or someone you know may be interested in auditioning, visit us online. GMYC is a 501-c3 non-profit organization. For more information about the Grand Monadnock Youth Choirs and the Cecilia Ensemble, visit us online at