The first several times Gina Fredericks was asked to be a founding director of the Middlesex Hospital Vocal Chords, she said she wasn’t interested because of other priorities.
But she changed her mind.
“I’m a musician. And I knew it would be a lot of work, but I wanted it to be right and do it professionally” said Fredericks, of Middlefield.
After 31 years of dedicated service to the Vocal Chords, Fredericks is retiring from the group. Her final concert will take place Sunday, Dec. 12, 2 p.m., at Portland High School.
The Vocal Chords were founded in 1990 by Joyce Ghent, a registered nurse at Middlesex Hospital, who pulled together a handful of hospital employees who loved to sing.
Needing a musical director, Ghent turned to Fredericks, who came highly recommended.
“We have endured personal losses, but together we have spent many happy times along with numerous travel adventures and created a bonding friendship that will last forever,” Ghent said looking back on her time with Fredericks. “With gratitude and thanksgiving, we will be eternally indebted to her. With all her musical expertise, the voices of Vocal Chords have touched thousands of lives.”
Since auditions are not required to join the Vocal Chords, some members need help getting concert-ready.
“All I ask is that to be a member one must love to sing and is willing to make the commitment to rehearse every week,” said Fredericks.
Broadway melodies are among Fredericks favorites for the Vocal Chords, but the group sings everything from jazz, swing and country, to patriotic pieces and holiday favorites, and more.
The Vocal Chords currently have 75 members and perform two concerts each year.
Fredericks comes from a musical family. She said her great-grandfather, an immigrant from Milan, was a leading Basso-Profundo at the Metropolitan Opera House; her grandfather was a first chair French horn player at the New York Philharmonic and The Met, and performed on Broadway; and her mother was a concert pianist in New York and a beloved private teacher of piano.
“I, too, have been blessed with a career in teaching and mentoring piano and voice students, many of whom have gone on to have wonderful careers as musicians, teachers and composers,” said Fredericks.
A press release sharing the news of Fredericks’ final concert states, “The Middlesex Hospital Vocal Chords are sad to see Fredericks retire, but she will always be an important part of our choral family. She shared herself and her talents for 31 years; for which we are so grateful. We thank her for her service and commitment. It’s special people like her who make this world a better place. Thank You, Gina!”