Thursday, July 20, 2006

Treasures of Cambridge #19 Treasures of Cambridge #19


Janet McGhee pictured in front of the vault in the former Bean Head’s Coffee House has lived in the Cambridge area for 15 years.

Janet grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and came here after living in the Boston area where she met the man she married who was from Cambridge, NY. Janet was pleasantly surprised, after living in a big city like Boston, that she could come to a small rural town and meet and befriend people that were "rich and full" of spirit. She found in Cambridge an incredible wealth of talent and intellectual energy that has helped to feed and enrich living a rewarding and creative life.

She wasted little time becoming a vital part of the community, founding and directing the Battenkill Chorale. This mixed adult chorus of 100 dedicated and spirited voices, comes together under Janet’s tutelage to perform deeply special and inspiring music from Classical Secular, Liturgical, Masses & Oratorios; Classical Madrigals to opera, Monteverdi to Pinkham. This group in yet another gem found here in the Battenkill Valley.

Along with the Battenkill Chorale, which has been in existence for 11 years, she directs the chorale program at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. Janet’s prop is her baton that she uses at her concerts when she is conducting with an orchestra. "My favorite thing to do is to make music, to be in rehearsal, that is what I love the most."

In addition to creating musical experiences, Janet loved to find that in our small town there was a place like Hubbard Hall where she could hear chamber music performed by world-class musicians, "it totally blew my mind," she exclaims.

Janet would like to be remembered as, "somebody who made a difference, someone who opened doors for other people, made possibilities of things people thought were impossible, helped people realize dreams they had, and do things they didn’t think they could do."

To experience a performance of the Battenkill Chorale and to observe the interplay Janet has with it’s members and the music, is to bear witness to the fact that this highly gifted and generous woman is already known for how she most wants to be remembered.

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