Personal Impact of NECS/LHSGE Annual Spring Concert

There was always music in Lisbeth Perdomo’s life. “We listened to merengue, salsa, reggae, hip hop, ballads in Spanish, R&B, soul, alternative rock, pop, dance. We listened to everything,” Lisbeth says, of her family when she was growing up. “We always had a record playing, we were big on buying music!”

Lisbeth, who grew up in Lawrence, MA, is now a private voice teacher in Andover, MA. She earned a degree from Berklee College of Music, and performs in the greater Boston area quite regularly.

In addition to her family’s influence, Lisbeth’s musical career was also inspired by a collaboration in high school with the New England Classical Singers. As many in our greater NECS community know, our group has partnered with the Lawrence High School Girls’ Ensemble for the performance of major choral works each spring for more than a decade. But few might fully realize the impact this experience, and exposure to classical music can have on young students, like Lisbeth. Often, this is the first time local students are exposed to such challenging material, and the traditions of classical music. This program gives high school students the opportunity to work with renowned soloists and guest artists, and learn from their teachings along with lessons from our esteemed Artistic Director, David Hodgkins.

Lisbeth remembers from her own experience as a teenager that “singing with the adults was fun. Our first rehearsal was a bit intimidating but we were mentally prepared and musically prepared.” She recalls that rehearsing with a professional Artistic Director took some getting used to, as the choirs worked together to hit harmonies and blend voices. She felt it was a true learning experience, and a profound moment in her experience as a high school student and singer. “My overall experience with NECS was impactful, fun and I learned so much about what it takes to direct a choir. The first dress rehearsal was successful and we were prepared. The performance was excellent and we received a standing ovation.”

Another life-changing experience was recently shared by a man who attended one of our spring concerts a few years ago. He recently spoke to concert series director Terri Kelley, and shared that he had a difficult life, as he had recently lost his wife and his job. He was at a point where he was considering suicide. He passed Holy Rosary church during a NECS concert, and came in on a whim to listen to the music. That man told Terri that the music was so uplifting that he was no longer depressed, and he believes the music saved his life.

There is so much good that comes from music, and from collaborating with the community to share timeless works of art. As a non-profit organization comprised of highly trained volunteer singers who have a passion for making music and sharing it with others, NECS works tirelessly to raise money and awareness in support of our mission to “enrich the human spirit through artistic excellence and educational outreach”  by bringing professional quality performances to the greater Merrimack Valley. Our partnership each year in May with the Lawrence High School Girls’ Ensemble is but one example of the far-reaching influence our mission and music-making has, as it touches not only our souls, but also the souls of others.


Please join us at our upcoming Free Concert of music by Bach, Haydn, and Mozart!

New England Classical Singers   David Hodgkins, Artistic Director
Lawrence High School Girl’s Ensemble   Nancy McGhee, Director
Guest soloists Soprano Barbara Kilduff and Organist Justin Thomas Blackwell

NECS Chamber Orchestra

Sunday, May 7, 2017 at 4 PM

Holy Rosary Church, 35 Essex St., Lawrence, MA

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