We're getting ready for Spring!
The Old Mill Singers will have the first rehearsal for their Spring concerts
on Tuesday, January 21 at 7:30.
If you are interested in becoming a member please arrive around 7:15
to meet our director, Peter Frost.
Rehearsals are held on Tuesdays from 7:30 to 9:30 at Saint Paul's on the Hill,
40 Ganung Dr, Ossining, NY 10562.
On a Sunday in the fall of 1970, a nurse from Phelps Hospital named Ruth Buzalski attended a service at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Scarborough. After the service she asked the organist if he would be willing to volunteer to direct a group of hospital workers and volunteers in a small chorale. Their conversation was the official beginning of the Old Mill Singers.
On a Tuesday evening, shortly after this meeting, the group that was to become the Old Mill Singers met for the first time. There were eight people. Over the next several weeks, this small group prepared a short Christmas program to be performed for the staff party at Phelps and for the patients.
After the holiday season, Leroy Brown, the hospital administrator, suggested that the group continue to try to grow. A recruitment drive began and in late January, the group began rehearsing for a spring concert. Over the spring, the group grew to 25 members, and in May 1971, The Phelps Arts Society presented its first public concert. During the next few years, the group grew to more than 30 singers and performed two public concerts a year.
In 1974, North Tarrytown (now Sleepy Hollow), celebrated its bicentennial, and the Phelps Arts Society was asked to prepare the centerpiece show for the celebration. For this special event, the group grew to over 50 members and “A Dutch Treat” was presented on three nights to a combined audience of 1600 people. The desire to be a more community-oriented organization led the group to change its name to the Old Mill Singers. In addition to performing two concerts a year, the group wanted to reach out to nursing homes and special care facilities in the various communities represented by the members.
Since 1974, the group has grown in numbers, with many members from surrounding communities. We do our primary fund-raising through our Winter and Spring public concerts and through membership dues. We also perform mini concerts throughout the year for nursing homes, retirement communities as well as special community functions.
The group is dedicated to several basic ideals: community service, our community within the chorus, having fun, and learning new and challenging music. We view ourselves as a very open group in that the only requirement for membership is the ability to sing in tune. More than seventy percent of our members do not read music.
We have come a long way since the very beginning and will continue to grow.
We are an adult choral group with a variety of singing skill levels. Many of us do not read music. So if you love to sing and you can carry a tune in a bucket, give us a try.
Peter was a theater/choral teacher in both public and independent school for sixteen years. For five years, he was the Director of Music for the Children’s Aid Society Chorus program where he administered to 18 choruses (K-12) and directed five in New York City. Peter’s two select choirs from The Children’s Aid Society performed in Carnegie Hall with Mandy Patinkin, The Rainbow Room with Donna Murphy, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Waldorf Astoria and Radio City Music Hall. The Children’s Aid Senior (HS) Chorus received a “superior” rating and first place over all in April, 2008 in Maryland.
He received his Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut and Master of Music degree in music education from Lehman College, City University of New York. He has performed with the Hartt Touring Opera in Connecticut, the California Opera Center at Notre Dame College in Belmont, California. As an actor-singer, he has appeared in musicals in summer stock, dinner theaters and regional theaters, as well as many dramatic plays with Bluestone Actors Project, a professional repertory company based in Westchester County, New York. Currently, Peter is an adjunct professor at Sacred Heart University, in Fairfield, Connecticut, as well as the Music Director at Saint Mary the Virgin in Chappaqua, New York. He also has a studio for voice and piano students where he lives in Hawthorne.
Peter Frost has been commissioned to write choral compositions by the Briarcliff Congregational Church, The Children’s Aid Society in New York City, and by the Great Neck North High School Jazz Choir. In 2013, he was commissioned to write five new arrangements for Colgate University for The 21st Century Colgate Songbook. Peter’s choral pieces have been published by GIA Publications and Santa Barbara Music Publishing of California. His newest publication, Stephen Foster Dreams was recorded by The Varsity Ensemble at the St. Mary’s International School, Tokyo, Japan, under the direction of Randy Stenson in 2015. For further information about his composition, please go to peterfrostmusic.com.
Gary loves to listen to classical music and has a special fondness for performing and conducting Broadway show tunes. He and his wife Marie enjoy train travel, especially to our national parks. We've been pleased to have him as our conductor.