The Middleport Community Choirs are "a community of churches that sings from the heart." We are two choirs: the vocal choir (The Middleport Community Choir), and the hand bell choir (The Middleport Bell Tones).
The MCC is a voluntary organization which is made up of approximately 40 active members from Middleport, Medina, Gasport, Lockport, Akron, and Lyndonville.
Our performance repertoire consists of a variety of mediums, including sacred, secular, Broadway, and contemporary choral works.
The vocal choir is under the direction of Mr. Ric Jones and is accompanied by Ms. Debby Clark.
The Middleport Community Choir (MCC) was created when members of Middleport area parish choirs performed together for special church services. In early 1999, a special effort was made to form a choir that would perform in concert with the visiting St. Andrew’s Brass Ensemble from Lubbecke, Germany. The concert was presented on April 5, 1999. Following the concert, our German guests invited the vocal choir and the community handbell choir (The Middleport Bell Tones) to visit Germany in September 2001. The disastrous events of September 11th postponed the trip, but it was rescheduled for September 2002. Seeing the countryside and living with the people was wonderful and singing and ringing in churches and castles, built before America was founded, was inspiring. Since then the MCC has had the pleasure of hosting and performing with our German friends in September 2005 and 2012. The MCC also returned to Germany in September 2008 and July 2015.
From its inception, the Middleport Community Choir has tried to live up to it purposes:
1. To provide an opportunity for musicians to use their talents for personal expression and satisfaction and to glorify God;
2. To bring musical enjoyment into the lives of others; and
3. To foster the ecumenical spirit in the Middleport area.
Presently the choirs perform at local civic and religious functions throughout the year and present an annual Cantata to the community. Venturing into more secular music, the choirs in conjunction with the Lockport Community Band, have presented “Musical Memories” concerts at the Historic Lockport Palace Theater in October 2003, October 2004, November 2006 and most recently in November 2009, as well as a prisms concert in May of 2006 and 2009.
Choir membership is open to anyone interested in singing and joining in the fellowship shared by members.
Ric Jones is the founder and owner of Imagine Music, a publishing company that sells original instrumental and vocal music, arrangements, commissioned works, as well as educational and curricular materials. Ric received both his Bachelor and Master Degrees in Music Education from Ithaca College (NY).
Currently, Ric serves as the Music Director of the Middleport Community Choir (NY),Music Director of the Genesee Chorale (Batavia, NY), and Music Director of The Brighton Symphony Orchestra (Brighton, NY). He is also the organist and Music Director at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Medina (NY), and organist at Trinity Lutheran Church in Wolcottsville (NY).
His educational experience includes directing high school bands, marching bands, pep bands, and chamber ensembles at Corinth High School (NY), Cincinnatus High School (NY), Greater Johnstown High School (NY), Cicero-North Syracuse High School (NY), Medina High School (NY), and Fonda-Fultonville High School (NY). Ric also maintains a private piano, vocal, and instrumental studio
Ric has also served as Principal Trombonist with the Tri-Cities Opera Orchestra, St. Cecilia Orchestra, and the Gerald Wolff Singers Orchestra.
In addition to his musical endeavors, Ric enjoys being a freelance web designer. He is an active member of the Orleans Renaissance Group, Inc., a volunteer organization dedicated to revitalizing the arts, culture and architecture in Medina (NY). Ric also serves on the staff of the Oak Orchard Review, an online literary and art magazine that features writers and artists from the Western New York region. Additionally, Ric and his wife, Karen, own and operate One Stop Medina, a website dedicated to the happenings in and around Medina, New York.
Ric resides in Medina (NY) with his wife Karen, and their three children, Nicholas, Ryder and River.
The Middleport Belltones is directed by Debby Clark. Debby has been a church organist since the age of fourteen. She has been an organist for over 35 years. During that tenure, she has accompanied and directed numerous cantatas. Singers from area churches were invited to perform in these cantatas. With the creation of the Middleport Community Choir and for the love of music, she became the volunteer accompanist.
Under Debby's direction, the MCCs acquired a used set of three-octaves of Malmark hand bells and two-octaves of Choir Chimes. The Middleport Belltones have travelled to Germany in 2002, 2008, and 2015.
Debby currently enjoys being a substitute church organist for several churches. In addition, she has been an office facilitator for a financial advising firm for over 17 years. Debby has two adult children.