History of Boston Singers' Resource

Boston Singers’ Resource began as a small organization with 85 subscribers in January 2001. It was founded with the awareness that there was previously no support system for New England based classical singers – information was available only to a select few by word of mouth. So the creators of BSR developed programs that would unite and strengthen NE based singers and other regional musicians as well as programs that educate the community at large about local classical performances.

BSR became a fully incorporated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in February 2005. Since that time, the number of paid subscribers as increased to an average of 500 musicians per year and dozens more visitors access the free BSR web resources each month.

BSR Milestones

  • The first BSR website opens to the public after eight months of design.
  • The first annual audition includes 88 singers and 17 directors.
  • Angela Beeching of New England Conservatory Career Services joins forces with BSR to distribute information to NEC students and faculty
  • BSR participates in Career Services’ first panel discussion specifically for NEC voice majors.
  • Classical Singer Magazine features BSR in an article entitled “Strength in Numbers: Singer Launches Boston Singers’ Resource”.
  • Sarah Whitten, voice instructor at Harvard University, designs and opens the Vocal Health section of the BSR website. (These articles are now archived in the BSR blog). 
  • The Children and Youth section opens and quickly becomes one of the most visited pages on the site—making it clear that more services are needed for young classical singers and their parents.
  • BSR hosts the first "Director/Producer meeting" during the Annual Auditions, providing a convenient networking opportunity for local company leaders. Twelve company leaders take part in the discussion group.
  • Choral director Michelle Graveline publishes an article in the American Choral Director’s Association Massachusetts Chapter Newsletter encouraging her fellow directors to become BSR members.
  • BSR achieves 501(c)(3) status. The number of BSR auditions increases to three, and D’Anna Fortunato, Susan Ormont, Jeffrey Brody, Beth MacLeod and Dorothy Yanish provide written feedback to performers at the Open Auditions.
  • Boston Singers’ Resource is awarded a three-year Organizational Support grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
  • Classical Singer Magazine again features BSR as part of an article entitled “Headquarters: Boston".
  • Murray Kidd initiates the Boston Singers' Relief Fund with a Gala concert featuring over 40 professional singers at Church of the Covenant in Boston. The event nets over $7,000.
  • BSR holds its first Gala fundraiser concert and silent auction event in Hamilton, MA, raising over $4,000.
  • BSR opens a new website featuring a new look, social networking options and daily messaging capabilities.
  • The BSR Recital Series begins with a sold-out program at the home of John Archer entitled “Songs of the Sea.
  • The Boston Singers’ Relief Fund reaches $20,000 and begins accepting applications for assistance from singers.
  • The BSR Recital Series produces another sold out program: “All music, All delight; the songs of John Duke.
  • The Boston Singers’ Relief Fund distributes its first check.
  • The BSR Recital Series produces another sold out program: “Songs of Emily Dickinson.
  • Lynn Shane announces her plans to retire from BSR.
  • Margaret Felice is hired as Interim Administrative Director (later Executive Director).
  • BSR offers its first audition workshop with panelists Dana Lynne Varga, Elaine Crane, Phil Lauriat, Angela Jajko and Thomas Dawkins.
  • The BSR Recital Series produces its final event under the leadership of Beverly Soll: “The Gift of Song”, highlighting the words of African-American poets and authors. The program is held in Swampscott with singers Robert Honeysucker, Kynesha Patterson, Antanas Meilus and narrator Samuel Martinborough.
  • BSR was represented at the Classical Singer convention with a booth and the expo and a workshop with Jean Danton, Aliana de la Guardia, Jose Delgado, and Dirk Hillyer. 
  • BSR concludes its first full season of workshops, including an audition workshop and tax workshop, as well as our first collaboration with Moonbox Productions on a two-part series of crossover workshops.
  • BSR honors outgoing board member Beverly Soll with a five season retrospective recital at the home of John Archer in Danvers. Previous recital singers and friends of BSR sing and read with Beverly at the piano.
  • BSR collaborates with Greater Boston Choral Consortium for a workshop on "Demystifying Websites" at Allston-Brighton Congregational Church. 
  • BSR returned to the Classical Singing convention, offering a workshop on "Hustle" with Hailey Fuqua and James Dargan. 
  • BSR announces a comprehensive website rebuild and $20,000 campaign to fund this essential upgrade. 
  • The Boston Singers' Relief Fund passes $50,000.
  • The new BSR website launches with a new logo and graphics.
  • BSR issues over 40 grants to singers who lost work due to COVID-19 through the Boston Singers' Relief Fund.
  • BSR offers its first "Composers' Lab" concert, in which singers and composers collaborate to generate ideas for new art songs.  
  • Margaret Felice announces her plans to retire from BSR.
  • Brendon Shapiro is appointed BSR Executive Director.
  • BSR produces "The Songs of Sondheim - a virtual cabaret" to celebrate the music of the recently departed Stephen Sondheim.
  • BSR releases its Houses of Worship Wage Equity Survey and gives a presentation to the community.
  • BSR rebrands "Composers' Lab" as "FUSE: Collaborations in Song" in collaboration with Catalyst New Music. Poets are now included in the process. 
  • BSR initiates several new programs, including the No Stress Studio, Boston Singers' Showcase, and Artist-in-Residence programs.
  • BSR updates mission statement to be more inclusive, to reflect the changing times and priorities of the organization.
  • BSR holds a masterclass with composer and conductor Matthew Aucoin.