Origin and Milestones
Father J. Scott Barker, rector of Christ Church, Warwick 2002-2011, had witnessed a great deal of young musical talent in his church and in the community. His parish had a wonderful adult choir and he hoped for a youth choir to perform at the church. He and his wife, Annie, had musical teenagers. Barker friends David and Lucia Crone had four musical teenagers (all musically-involved Christ Church members). Conductor/pianist/teacher David and classically-trained singer Annie had previously collaborated on a well-received summer community youth choir performance, so it seemed that a youth choir membership could reach beyond Christ Church and perhaps even Warwick. Annie, David and Scott mulled this over for some time.
Father Scott approached the Christ Church vestry members and they approved church financial support and rehearsal space for the choir. A youth choir steering committee of Christ Church members was formed and in August 2006 held its first meeting. Committee members were Annie and Scott Barker, David Crone, Liz Houlton, Lisa Laico, Debbie Schofield, and Joan Tirrell. Fr. Scott acted as head of the committee. David accepted the position of choir director. Annie volunteered to keep the choir and its affairs organized as manager; this later became a staff position. Conductor/pianist/teacher Steven Wing accepted the position of assistant director/accompanist and joined the steering committee. Lisa Laico was instrumental in procuring the choir's concert attire.
The choir's name was chosen by the committee. The logo was created by Debbie Schofield and the web site was provided by Steve Laico (both of Christ Church). Auditions were held at Christ Church in September, and the 12-member treble choir Jubilate - Community Youth Choir of Warwick was born. The choir rehearsed weekly throughout the fall and gave their first performance on December 17, 2006 at Christ Church on the occasion of the visitation of The Right Reverend Mark S. Sisk, D.D., Bishop of New York.
On November 3, 2007 the choir's first fund-raiser concert was a sell-out. Called A Voice Raising (a play on "barn raising") the event was held at Spring Brook Farm and featured Emish, E'lissa Jones, Peter Holmgren, and Jubilate.
In spring 2008 a baritone choir was added to accommodate the changing voices of young men who wanted to stay with Jubilate, but who were no longer right for a treble choir. With that, Jubilate morphed from one treble choir to three concert choirs: treble, baritone, and SATB (soprano/alto/tenor/bass - all members), and a smaller liturgical choir.
Jubilate had been building their repertoire, and in June 2009 held a spring concert, the first where they performed the bulk of the performing. At that event two original members were recognized and bid best wishes for college that fall…which also meant that the choir had its first alumni. In spring 2010 the choir performed at Carnegie Hall and with the Classic Choral Society.
In May 2011 Jubilate said good-bye to eight(!) graduating seniors and celebrated the end of their fifth season in the place where it began, Christ Church, with the joyous All That I Can Be concert. This was to be Annie Barker's last concert as choir manager; Fr. Scott Barker was elected Bishop of Nebraska in June. Several choir members surprised the Barkers when they showed up at the August steering committee meeting to perform You Raise Me Up as a swan song for these much-loved choir founders.
This choir has had a wonderful spirit and steady momentum. It has been blessed with terrific kids; a talented, dedicated staff; a conscientious, hard-working steering committee; and enthusiastic support from Christ Church folks, Jubilate families, area musicians, and the community. We anticipate great things!