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Meet Jonathan Barnhart of Dedham Choral Society

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jonathan Barnhart.

Jonathan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I began piano lessons at the age of 6; my mother was a church organist and my father an artist.

Through high school and college, I added voice, organ, French horn and conducting to my private studies, doing a lot of choral singing and accompanying other students’ private lessons. I feel fortunate to have received an excellent liberal arts education at Dickinson College, where I was able to study music, languages, religion and history. After graduation, I moved to Boston to pursue graduate studies at The New England Conservatory, where I received additional training in vocal performance, organ and choral conducting. During that time and for a period following I was a music editor at one of the most distinguished publishers of classical music in Boston, sang in the professional choruses of the Opera Company of Boston and the Handel & Haydn Society, and was Music Director at both a church and a synagogue. In 1993, I was chosen from a group of four finalists to be Music Director of the Dedham Choral Society, which I am pleased to continue to today.

Has it been a smooth road?
Honestly, I would say that I haven’t faced any major obstacles to creating a career as a musician in the Boston area; opportunities seemed to present themselves when I was best able to take advantage of them. Having the talent and skills for the various aspects of my work was of course a necessity, but also of great importance was having the right contacts and being in the “right place at the right time.”

We’d love to hear more about your business.
The Dedham Choral Society was founded in 1955 by a group of local residents who loved to sing choral music. It has a proud history of being one of the premier community choruses in the greater Boston area, presenting classics of the repertoire in the original language and with orchestral accompaniment. I am most proud of the programming we have been able to present, with many first performances of rarely heard works.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Dedham has proven to be a good location for us, with stable and supportive bases for membership, audience and financial support. The one thing we could hope for is better public transportation to Dedham, so that we can attract new and younger members, at different life stages, in order to ensure that DCS can thrive for another 60 years!

Auditions this year are on September 13 and 20, 2017. Interested singers do not need to prepare a piece in advance. Join us for open rehearsals starting at 7:30, with auditions to follow. We rehearse at Allin Congregational Church at 683 High Street in Dedham, MA.


  • @$125/season (dues and music fees)

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All photos property of Dedham Choral Society

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