The Buffalo Choral Arts Society (BCAS) has been sharing its love for choral singing, both locally and abroad, for over forty years. Throughout that time, it has steadily established itself as an integral part of Buffalo's music community.
Founded by Robert F. Schulz in 1966, BCAS began as a musical outlet for anyone who enjoyed the art of singing. In 1984, upon Schulz's death, the community chorus was reorganized under the leadership and direction of John Ricca, who was forced to retire shortly afterwards due to health concerns. In 1987, Marcia A. Giambrone was selected to be the new conductor and music director for the group, and since that time, she has continued in the spirit of the group's founder by maintaining its commitment to great choral works.
BCAS performs at least three to four concerts per year at various facilities in and around the Western New York area and the city of Buffalo. With each concert, the chorus has sung a diverse and eclectic repertoire, helping the choir members to further develop musically. A continuing favorite with the community is the annual Christmas concert at Our Lady of Victory Basilica and National Shrine each December. Throughout the years, BCAS has taken advantage of many opportunities to share its music outside of Buffalo, which include three European tours. In 1994, the group ventured to Dublin (Christ Church Cathedral), London (St. James Church, Picadilly), Paris (Notre Dame Cathedral), and Normandy (American Cemetery). Salzburg (Mozarteum), Vienna and Prague in 1997, and in 1999, BCAS toured the Provence region in France and Barcelona (National Cathedral), Spain. During the summer of 2009, BCAS traveled north to tour Ouebec City, Quebec, Canada, which concluded with a concert at the world-renowned Basilica of St. Anne de Beaupre.
BCAS is proud to have shared the performing spotlight with some of the area's finest soloists and with many exemplary artistic organizations, which include the Arts Nova Musicians Chamber Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Erie County Wind Ensemble and the Western New York Children's Chorus, Cheektowaga Community Symphony Orchestra and the renowned Hamburg High School Concert Chorale. In 2006, BCAS was invited to share the stage with many national choirs to sing the Mass of the Children at Carnegie Hall, which was conducted by the piece's composer, John Rutter.
As an extension of the main choir, the Buffalo Choral Arts Singers (BCA 'Singers'), a small chamber style group, was established in 2003. This ensemble has performed many outreach concerts in the WNY area, including appearances at the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Summer Conference and the Erie County Music Educators Association (ECMEA) Conference Day.
Marcia A. Giambrone began her community choral conducting experiences in 1981 as Music Director of the Orchard Park Chorale. In 1987 she was appointed Conductor/Music Director of the Buffalo Choral Arts Society. During her tenure with BCAS, she has led the chorus on three European concert tours, performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ars Nova Musicians Chamber Orchestra, and the Cheektowaga Community Symphony Orchestra as well as numerous area soloists and renowned guest conductors including Michael Christie (Phoenix Symphony), and Andre J. Thomas (Florida State University College of Music). Under Ms. Giambrone's leadership, BCAS has grown from the original Society begun in 1966 to include the BCA Singers, a select chamber ensemble established in 2000. BCAS toured to Quebec City, Quebec Canada in July of 2009.
Ms. Giambrone began her conducting career as a vocal music teacher in the West Seneca School District. Her guest conducting and music education careers have earned her several awards including the NY American Choral Directors Association Outstanding Choral Conductor and the BPO/ECMC Choral Conductor of the Year. Among the honors she holds in the highest esteem is being listed seven times in Who's Who Among American Teachers. She has conducted numerous county and state festival choruses ranging from elementary to senior high, women’s to mixed voices. Ms. Giambrone has been a member of ACDA, ECMEA and MENC/NYSSMA for over forty years where she has served as zone representative and adjudicator.
Ms. Giambrone has a BFA in Music Education and an MFA in Vocal Pedagogy from SUNY at Buffalo. She has done additional study at SUNY Fredonia, Canisius College, and Westminster Choir College. The highlight of her professional development was her participation in the Robert Shaw Carnegie Hall Choral Workshop as an auditioned singer from 1994 to 2000 singing under the conductor on many occasions. Since 2000, Ms. Giambrone has been a supervisor of student teachers at SUNY Fredonia. In January of 2004 she joined the faculty of Houghton College where she supervises student teachers and teaches Secondary Choral Methods.