The Story of Omaggio Community Chorus
A Creative Ensemble
Omaggio Community Chorus. is a group of warm, friendly singers who share a love for singing. Our Artistic Director, Dr. John St. Marie, has always enjoyed singing and conducting community choirs because "they possess an infectiously positive nature -- there's something very special about singing together for the love and joy of music and community choirs truly embody the humanity and good will that I think we all want to see in the world. Omaggio possesses this spirit - they share it freely and I cannot tell you how much hope it inspires in me, for our community and for our world." Dr. St. Marie has sung in or directed community choirs for nearly 20 years and feels that such organizations are important - not only for the singers, but for the areas they serve. Few endeavors bring such a diverse gathering of people who choose to walk together on a journey of creative discovery and who desire to create and share art for the sheer joy of it.
When local singers approached Dr. St. Marie asking if we might ever have a choir for the community in our area, he immediately took up the challenge of trying to make it a reality. Dr. St. Marie has a deep passion for teaching and loves his work with singers in his position as Director of Choral Activities at Nicholls State University and, now with Omaggio here in the Houma-Thibodaux area.
In case you are wondering about our name, Omaggio is of Italian origin and its English equivalent is homage. Back in 2005 when Dr. St. Marie first began conducting at a church in Whittier, CA, some of his singers and voice students desired to put on a choir concert and perform music that they had always desired to sing. As they pondered what they might call themselves, Dr. St. Marie floated the name Omaggio because the the word evoked a deep sense of connectedness: respect for the music, for the composer who penned and shared the inspired music, and because it honored the passion of the young singers and he was so honored to be a part of it. They embraced the name immediately and he knew that he would love to keep the memory of those young singers and their enthusiasm by someday forming a group of the same name - in some ways, the name itself is an homage to that group and to the beginning of his conducting career.
Omaggio hopes that sharing music touches the hearts of our listeners and keeps the love of singing growing so that it flourishes in our community. Allow us to take you on a journey through the minds of the composers and trace back to the initial inspiration so that we may connect ourselves with those who have been inspired before us, with our loved ones, and with our listeners. The greatest gift is love, and the greatest homage for us is being able to share music with one another.
Our first concert in November 2019 was entitled Meet the Masters and featured soprano phenom, Sarah Jeric. The repertoire came from the classical canon and included composers such as Brahms, Mozart, Haydn, and Vaughan Williams.