After 25 years, director Margaret Bossi has decided to retire from the Chatham Chorale to spend more time with her family.
"For a long time I thought, 'Well, maybe I'll just do it until I drop dead,' but then, on reflection, I thought, 'I want to stop while I'm feeling really like I've still got a lot of juice,'" Bossi
"My children are all having children, and I want to be able to spend more time with them."
has had a lifelong love affair with music and says she
has found conducting choruses to be fun since ninth grade and has never really wanted to do anything else.
She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in music at Smith College and then attended Brandeis University to work on her doctorate, but found the scholarly life wasn't for her.
What: "Skylark: The Music of Johnny Mercer"
Presented by: Larry Marsland, Margaret Bossi
and the Chatham Chorale
The two then shared the job for a couple of years, and Bossi became the full-time director in 1987.
early goals were to have a long tenure, which she
certainly has, and to ensure that the chorale was financially and artistically healthy.
With the chorale in extremely good shape, with financial stability and a strong membership, the timing to step down couldn't be better.
has always loved "quirky programming," and her
musical choices for the group have reflected that passion.
"I made it my job in terms of what kind of programs we presented that the singers in the group got exposed to a lot of different kinds of music which don't necessarily fit the traditional mold of a big chorus like ours," she
considers the "Missa Gaia" one of the highlights of her
career with the chorale.
had a long association with the Paul Winter Consort and was thrilled to present "Missa Gaia" to Cape audiences twice.
"Both of those pieces, 'The Outermost House' and 'Why I Wake Early,' have had multiple performances by other groups, other than ourselves, so you feel you caused the piece to be written and then it's of sufficient quality and interest that other groups pick it up," Bossi
"So I'm proud of that."
Bossi is also extremely proud that the chorale has had a long and friendly relationship with the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra, first under the baton of Royston Nash and currently with artistic director and conductor Jung-Ho Pak.
Nash says it was a pleasure to work with Bossi
on several major undertakings through the years and adds he
has the utmost respect for her
talent and energy.
"A few years ago when I was unable to conduct the performances of the wonderful choral work 'A Sea Symphony' of Ralph Vaughan Williams, I had no hesitation in handing over the baton to Maggie
to conduct the chorale, soloist and full symphony orchestra for this great weekend of music," Nash says.
"We worked together on many seasonal December concerts over the years, and she
always brought merriment as well as musicianship to the festive nature of the concerts."
Clare Coughlan, president of the Chatham Chorale and a chorale singer for 27 years, says Bossi will be sorely missed.
is an absolute musical genius.
a hard worker and she's
been just a pleasure.
Audiences love her
, and we're an organization that always likes to meet and greet our audience."
For her last hurrah, Bossi will conduct the Chatham Chorale Chamber Singers in four joint concerts with Larry Marsland, executive director of the Lower Cape Outreach Council.
will end her
formal tenure with the Chatham Chorale
with two annual patriotic concerts titled "Salute to America" accompanied by a Dixieland band.
The concerts will be presented June 28 at the Eastham Windmill and July 1 at Christ Chapel in Centerville.
Even though Bossi is retiring from the Chatham Chorale, she will continue to serve as choir director and organist at Dennis Union Church and teach at the Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School in Orleans.
"I love my middle-school kids with a passion that rivals my love for the chorale, so I will keep doing that," she
"It was such an honor, I can't even describe it," Bossi