The Williams Chorale was established in the spring of 1993. We are a nonprofit organization whose mission includes a twofold purpose:
- To provide the Attleboro, MA area with the opportunity to experience quality choral productions
- To offer Attleboro, MA area residents the opportunity to sing in a quality choral organization.
Members of The Williams Chorale are from the greater Attleboro, MA area, however, this is not a requirement for membership. Audition for membership is open to all who share a love for music and singing. Auditions are held twice during the year: September and January. The Chorale is a nonprofessional group with professional standards. We look for individuals who are willing to commit to the goal of performing the best choral presentation possible. We strive for the growth of the organization as well as our individual members.
The Chorale schedules two concerts each year: a Christmas Concert and a Spring Concert. Performances include works from the classical to spiritual to popular standards. Our concerts are recorded live and are available for purchase. The chorale is also available for performances at special events by contacting our director, Peter J. Williams.
Our season runs from September to May/June for rehearsals. Exceptions are made for special performances.
The Chorale is also a social group. Events are scheduled each year for fellowship and fund raising:
- Annual Director’s Cup/Scholarship Golf Tournament is held each summer/early fall
- Night at the Trinity Theatre in Providence, RI
- Summer picnics
…are a few of the occasions to get together and relax.
The Williams Chorale relies heavily on the support of its members, families, friends, patrons of the arts, area businesses and grants to carry out our mission to produce choral presentations of the highest caliber.
In 2001, The Williams Chorale Bacardi Fallon Performing Arts Scholarship Competition was established, with the first scholarships awarded in the spring of 2002. The purpose is to help area high school juniors or seniors in the pursuit of a musical education. The scholarship is competitive. Finalists are chosen to compete by the audition committee based on taped selections submitted with the application. The 12-14 finalists compete for over $12,000 in cash prizes.
The Williams Choral was organized by Stephen J. Fallon and Peter J. Williams in the spring of 1993. They sensed the need for an established organization dedicated to providing the Attleboro, MA area with the opportunity to participate in and/or enjoy high quality performances of choral productions.
The initial meeting was attended by twenty-five interested and curious people. The group was off and running. The name, Mansfield Choral Society, was adopted. This reflected the site of our first meeting: First Baptist Church of Mansfield. Peter J. Williams agreed to become our director.
The first objective was to prepare for our initial Christmas Concert. It was later changed to a Winter Concert and scheduled for late January. Who knew that the date chosen was Super Bowl Sunday. In spite of this complication, the concert was a success and we were finally established.
Our first five years was a period of organization and growth. By-Laws were adopted, A Board of Directors and officers elected and goals were established
During the summer of 1998, the Board of Directors, upon reflection of our first five years and looking ahead to the future, made two major changes to the organization. The first was to change the name of the organization. The second was to develop a Mission Statement.
The Williams Chorale was chosen for our new name. We continue to be based in Attleboro, MA. Our goals include projects outside our immediate area as well as within our area. The name change reflects our director, Peter J. Williams, who has guided us through our development during our first five years. He constantly presents new challenges in music selection and projects promoting growth and reaching new goals.
A Mission Statement was adopted. It was felt that we should have a focus, a direction, a purpose to follow in making decisions. The Williams Chorale is a work in progress. As we achieve one goal, new goals present themselves.
We are proud of our short history:
- Concerts at Attleboro area churches
- Men’s ensemble participation in singing a portion of the sound track of David Mamet’s production of the motion picture “Oleanna”
- A benefit concert for aids victims at the Providence Biltmore Hotel Grand Ballroom with opening remarks given by Mayor Buddy Cianci
- Participation in Mansfield, MA’s Christmas Tree lighting festivities
- Participation is North Attleboro, MA’s Interfaith Service sponsored by the Downtown Associates of North Attleboro and the North Attleboro 20th Century Celebration Committee
- Performance of Mozart’s Requiem accompanied by Thomas D. Weisflog who appears frequently with the Chicago Symphony
- CD recordings of four concerts, including Mozart’s Requiem, two Christmas Concerts, and a Spring concert
- Annual Director’s Cup Golf Tournament
- The opening of Concert Dress Rehearsals to those unable to attend the scheduled concert due to physical or financial reasons.
- Establishment of The Williams Chorale Performing Arts Scholarship – to benefit area high school juniors and seniors in pursuing musical studies.
About the Founder
Stephen J. Fallon
Stephen J. Fallon, co-founder of The Williams Chorale, is an energetic man of action who saw a need for such a choral organization as The Williams Chorale for the Attleboro, MA. area and took action. He, along with his good friend Peter J. Williams, organized the initial meeting and the Chorale was born.
Stephen has had a long background in voice. He began studying voice in 1969 and was a member of the Capitol Hill Choral Society of Albany, NY., under the direction of William Rand, from 1970 to 1973. He attended the Interlochen Arts Academy’s National Music Camp in 1971 and went on to concentrate in vocal performance at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Andrew Friarson from 1973 to 1975.
He performed with the Fine Arts Chorale of South Weymouth, MA., under the direction of Peter Edwards, from 1987 to 1993.
Stephen is a featured soloist with The Williams Chorale and remains one of the Chorale’s most enthusiastic supporters and promoters. Stephen has released a CD entitled “Songs of Love” which may be previewed at http://cdalley.com in the miscellaneous section.
About the Director
Peter J. Williams
Peter J. Williams received his Bachelor of Music from Barrington College and completed his graduate studies in conducting and composition at Vandercook College in Chicago, where he studied and performed under Chicago Symphony organist Thomas Weisflog and acclaimed composer-conductor John Rutter.
Highly regarded as a pianist and conductor, Peter Williams released his first solo album for piano, “Silent Night, Holy Night,” in 1995. The recording has since become a much requested Christmas time favorite on Boston’s WGBH and WCRB radio stations. The recording, “Just me, Just Piano,” features Williams’s own compositions and selected hymns of faith, and received the following review from Dancin’ Dave Derbyshire on Crossrhythms.co.uk:
“I was pleasantly surprised by this album… I was very impressed by the skill of Peter J. Williams both as a pianist and as a composer…Mr. Williams is a much sought after composer and conductor who has arranged and directed the soundtrack to a major MGM film, has had a Christmas number one on WCRB…and has hosted his own weekly radio show in Boston. But all this just confirmed the talent of this man. I found his original compositions beautiful and relaxing as well as enjoying the hymns. “
His most recent release, “In The Bleak Mid-Winter,” is a collection of William’s solo piano arrangements of Christmas favorites.
Williams has hosted radio shows on 1230 WARL radio Attleboro/Providence, and WARA and WJIB stations in Cambridge, MA. He received major motion picture credit for arranging and directing the sound track for MGM Studio’s “Oleanna” by American playwright David Mamet.
Mr. Williams is retired as head of the vocal department for the North Stonington, CT. Public School System and is also the Founding Director of the Williams Chorale.