In 1931, the Elmira Lions Club brought together singers from every church in the city to perform at a non-denominational Easter Passion Play. The group enjoyed it so much, they decided to keep singing together as the Elmira Civic Chorus, performing yearly Christmas and Easter concerts. Nearly every church in the county had their own choirs for regular services. Grace Episcopal Church also had a special boys’ choir. Other groups, like the Brooks Jubilee Singers, performed religious music around the area without being affiliated with a particular church.
Brooks Jubilee Singers
The Brooks Jubilee Singers, consisting of Amelia H. Scott, George G. Brooks, Grafton Dorsey, James Armstrong, Lewis Brown, and Pearl Brooks, performed spirituals at local African-American churches and clubs.
Brooks Jubilee Singers, c. 1910
Elmira Civic Chorus
The Elmira Civic Chorus included members from nearly every Elmira church.
Elmira Civic Chorus, 1954
Park Church Quartette
In addition to the usual choir, several area churches had select groups including the Park Church Quartette and the Grace Episcopal Boys’ Choir.