The Halalisa Singers and the Mssng Lnks Artists-in-Training will join in a concert, Celebrating Black History Month in Joyful Voice!, marking this year’s Black History Month at St. Mary’s Parish Hall on Washington Street.
The Halalisa Singers is a celebrated world music vocal ensemble of Greater Boston dedicated to the performance of music across all cultures and nationalities. Halalisa is the Zulu word for “celebration” and, in that spirit, the Halalisa repertoire includes African, Latin, American Spiritual, Gospel, Jewish, Folk, and Jazz music. A diverse group of 30 men and women, the Halalisa Singers are inspired by the belief that music is a universal language with the power to uplift and unite us all. Mary Cunningham is the Artistic Director.
Mary Cunningham is now in her twelfth year leading the Halalisa Singers. Ms. Cunningham earned her Masters in Music at the Cleveland Institute of Music after degree training at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. She is well known in the Boston area as an active choral conductor, vocalist, and flute soloist. She is the Choir Director at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading, and was selected to conduct the national choir at the 2014 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalists in Providence, Rhode Island. A frequent performer with the Christmas Revels, Mary is on the faculty of the Powers Music School in Belmont, and has a private teaching studio in her Lexington home.
Mssng Lnks believes in embracing, nurturing, and unleashing the power found within the voices of urban youth-of-color. It addresses the underrepresentation of singers-of-color in musical theater and classical vocal music. Their three-pronged approach provides high-quality music education and performance opportunities to youth considering careers in Vocal Performance, facilitates a multi-directional inter-gration process between students, music organizations and local communities, and honors cultural inheritance by advocating for the promotion and performance of vocal music by composers-of-color.
Samuel Martinborough is Founder and Artistic Director of Mssng Lnks. Born in Guyana, South America, Martinborough obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Atlantic Union College in South Lancaster, MA and a Master’s degree in Theatre Education from Emerson College, Boston. He was the founding director and conductor of both the Indian Hill Arts Treble Singers in Littleton MA and the United Voices of Praise at Framingham State College. His music and theatre teaching engagements encompass all grade levels, kindergarten through college.
His love of theatre has landed him roles at the Rochester Opera House, Fiddlehead theatre, Boston’s ImprovAsylum and the Footlight Club. His desire to combine his passions has produced a meaningful relationship with the Handel & Haydn Society’s Outreach Vocal Quartette as both an author and performer.
Martinborough directs the Community Music Center Youth Chorus and Una Voce. Through Mssng Lnks he teaches at the Amigos and Boston Collegiate Charter Schools. He is the Choir director at the Congregational Church in Weston MA, and is the Repertoire and Standards Chairperson for the Massachusetts chapter of the American Choral Director’s Association.
Martinborough is actively researching and archiving classical music by Black composers and Broadway musicals with minority casts.