The Richmond Community Choir (RCC) has been in existence since about mid-80’s, initially as an interdenominational group of singers who performed at various churches. The group was “re-started” in 1999 by Louis Cantor, with the help of Claire Manchik and Joe Agosta. At their first concert, which took place at the Richmond Community Theater, 11 songs were performed by the 19 choir members (seven of whom — Joe Agosta, Carole Harris, Nancy Holmes, Claire Manchik, Lucia Marshall, Tammie Raquel, and Marge Venuk — are still part of RCC today).
Joe Agosta, RCC’s original accompanist, became the Richmond Community Choir Director one year or so later and, with the help of Claire Manchik and others began implementing his vision of the community choir and a life-long dream. Over the years, RCC’s membership – just like its popularity in the community – grew exponentially to as high as over 110 singing members (Christmas 2009).
Between their annual Spring and Winter Concert Series, the Choir performs a variety of traditional, religious, holiday, and popular music, as well as show tunes, oldies and modern arrangements. Four, five, or six plus part harmonies by the Choir are interspersed with solo, duet, quartet and octet numbers. A special treat are the performances of the Chorale Ensemble that is a part of RCC that consists of the choir members who auditioned to join.
Every RCC performance shines with most talented accompaniment of the instrumentalists. Each concert programs lists the season’s instrumentalists which usually include drums; flute & piccolo; acoustic, electric, and bass guitars; bells; steel drums and harmonica; and violin, to name a few.
Today, RCC boasts a membership of over 180 members, of which 60-90 are active singers (depending on the season). Its members are talented and dedicated singers comprised of both accomplished musicians and those who are just learning to read music. Our members hail from Richmond and over 30 neighboring communities, ranging in age from high school students to octogenarians.
In its 21st year of being a caring and active presence in the community, the Choir has performed close to 370 songs; participated in many community events, to include, Richmond Good Old Days, the Tree Lighting Ceremony, along with a standing commitment following each Concert Series to perform for the residents of Medilodge of Richmond. Over the years RCC has had the privilege of having over 350 individuals as its members. As always, the Choir welcomes new members and no auditions are required to join. New sessions start on the first Monday in February (for Spring concert), and the 2nd Monday in September (for Christmas concert) at the Richmond High School Band Practice Room.