More than Music…
The motto of the Deer Creek Chorale (DCC) is Sing Locally, Give Globally. DCC charitable concerts have raised funds to support projects in our greater community and across the globe. Singers volunteer their time for our charitable partner projects as a way of giving back to the community. Our choirs develop a camaraderie by singing and working together, supporting our mission of choral artistry, personal enrichment and service.
2021-2022 Partner: First Fruits Farm, Inc.
Rick and Carol Bernstein started gardening with their three children on a third of an acre at their former home in Parkton, selling the produce at a roadside stand and taking extras to their local food bank. For the Bernsteins, First Fruits — which takes its name from a Biblical reference calling for people to devote the “first fruits” of their labors to God — is an exercise in faith…that the seeds planted will produce fruit, that the helpers will come for planting and harvest, that the resources needed to support production will be there. With the help of private donations and grants from local foundations, First Fruits Farm, established in 2004, has grown to 172 acres and has donated more than 6 million pounds of produce over the past decade. The bounty has surpassed the Bernsteins’ expectations and has helped feed countless people through partnerships with food banks, Catholic Charities and other groups around the region. John May, Senior Vice President of Maryland Food Bank said because of price, fresh produce is generally “untouchable to the people that we serve…It’s the best nutrition-rich food that you can get, especially if it’s coming off a local farm. Poverty in itself creates health issues, so this is gold.” DCC choruses will help harvest on the farm in the fall of 2021 and plant in the spring of 2022.
In keeping with the theme of nature’s bounty, the Fall 2021 concert will be entitled “The Earth Provides” which will feature the premiere of a work by local composer Preston Hutt and other music reflecting the joy of giving.
2020-2021 Partner: Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER
Gunpowder RIVERKEEPER is a grassroots, advocacy based, non-profit organization charged with protecting, conserving and restoring the Gunpowder River and its watershed. As a member of the WATERKEEPER ALLIANCE they take a proactive role in safeguarding the river from threats to the health and stability of the watershed by conducting scientific monitoring. Deer Creek Chorale is partnering with GRK by encouraging RIVERKEEPER membership to support their work and by facilitating education about the Gunpowder waterways through shared interview with Executive Director, Theaux LeGardeur. DCC members have pledged through the GRK website in various ways to support water health from their homes and neighborhoods. DCC members have engaged (and will continue in Spring 2021) in Stream Walks that educated them about the value and state of health of our waterways and gave them opportunity to pick up debris to clean up stream banks. “Let the Music FLOW”, the theme of our DCC season, focuses on music that speaks to the beauty and value of our earth…source of life. DCC will continue to honor and support the work of GRK through song and as partner ‘river keepers’.
2019 Partner: Camp Opportunity
Camp Opportunity is devoted to breaking the cycle of abuse and neglect in Maryland. Children ages 8-11 who are victims of physical, sexual or neglectful abuse are referred by Social Services and attend a fun, safe, one-week reprieve from their troubled households. Children attend free and have a 1-on-1 mentor where they can feel a sense of dignity and self-worth. Deer Creek Chorale acquired new student back packs and filled them with school supplies to begin the 2019 school year. As part of our commitment to Camp Opportunity, we partnered with the Deer Creek Youth, Goucher College, Fallston High School, and Maryland All-State Honors choirs for the packed concert “With One Voice” at Goucher College, raising $3000 for the Camp.
2018 Partner: Pennies for Peace
Renowned choral composer and conductor Z. Randall Stroope took the stage with the Deer Creek Chorale to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of our “Inscription of Hope” Concert supporting the Central Asia Institute’s (CAI) efforts to build a school in the mountain regions of Central Asia. The choir and members of the community participated in a service-learning program of CAI, “Pennies for Peace.” Participants collected pennies in jars placed in schools and local businesses. The penny is essentially worthless in the U.S., but in Central Asia a penny buys a pencil and empowers a child to read and write. Our goal is to encourage everyone to share just one percent, a penny per dollar, for global peace.
2017 Partner: Alzheimer’s Awareness: Music and Memory
Alzheimer’s accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Living with and caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s can be devastating and heart-breaking. It is hoped that through greater awareness the disease can be better understood and managed. Throughout the concert season, the DCC focused on Alzheimer’s awareness with guest speakers and activities highlighting the correlation between music and memory. The DCC entered a team in the Baltimore & Harford Counties “Walk to End Alzheimer’s”. We commissioned and performed Dr. Daniel McDavitt’s Three Memories as part of a major concert themed “Music and Memory”. The concert showcased the Mid-Atlantic premiere of Robert Cohen’s Alzheimer’s Stories in partnership with the Deer Creek Youth Choir, Goucher College Choir and Peabody Institute musicians, all under the guest baton of conductor Bruce Rogers. The concert was held at Goucher College as part of a weekend highlighting Alzheimer awareness and included a pre-concert Forum.
2016 Partner: Maryland Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, Inc.
During FY2016, DCC advocated for the Maryland Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, Inc. (MDCFA), whose mission is to provide a broad range of creative and collaborative experiences in quality education, presentations and exhibits in all disciplines of the arts; and to build and operate a visual and performing arts center for the region to have greater access to quality spaces to exhibit, present and participate in the arts. DCC promoted the Center by inviting its Board President, Tobias J. Moser to make a presentation at our annual “Inform & Inspire” event; a DCC member performed in the Center’s annual fundraiser, a ballroom dance competition; and DCC featured the needs of the Center during our A Cappella Festival.
Past Community Outreach Projects
Habitat for Humanity, Susquehanna
Haiti’s Earthquake Relief Fund
Jackie McCosh Concert Fund
Betty Banghart Scholarship Fund
Johns Hopkins Camp Sunrise
Harford Family House
George Small Outreach Kenyan Educational Fund
Harford Center for the Visual and Performing Arts