The One City Chorus – Tampa Bay’s newest community chorus – is set to begin rehearsals for its second season. The underlying philosophy of the chorus is that singing in a group builds community and leads to better understanding among people. That’s why the chorus has no auditions! It welcomes everyone – experienced and inexperienced singers alike, and people of every race, religion, culture and orientation. Its repertoire features songs with themes of social justice, civil rights, diversity and equality. The group rehearses at 7:00 PM on Monday evenings at the Carter Woodson African American History Museum at 2240 9th Ave. South in St. Petersburg beginning October 2nd. It asks for a yearly $20 music fee which helps pay for sheet music and other expenses, but no one is turned away for lack of funds.
The chorus began in October 2016. By the time of its first major concert – a nearly sold-out evening at the historic Palladium Theater in downtown St. Pete in March – the group had grown to a group of 85 singers. This year’s schedule includes performances at First Night St. Pete, a return engagement at the Palladium in February with musical guests the Urban Gypsies of Florida, and an April 4th commemoration of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., co-produced with the Carter Woodson African American History Museum.
The group is led by Jon Arterton who holds a Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting from The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and an MFA in Acting from Smith College. He was the founder and musical arranger of The Flirtations, the a cappella singing group seen in the film Philadelphia and on HBO, Good Morning America and MTV. In 2002 he founded the 150-voice Outer Cape Chorale, a community chorus based in Provincetown, Massachusetts that he conducted until he moved to Gulfport in 2016. This January he will again be the rehearsal conductor for the Florida Orchestra’s annual Sing Out Tampa Bay performance.