ACCMS 2023 Choral Letter

Dear Choral Music Lovers and Members of the Ashtabula County Choral Music Society,

The signs that fall is approaching are here. Pumpkins are growing in the garden, mums have shown up at the garden store, and the school buses are rolling. It is time to get ready for the fall season for ACCMS.

The board has been very active over the summer. They have been leading the committees of singers and board members as we prepare for the trip to Carnegie Hall in April of 2024. You will be hearing more about that in separate communications. Our director, Paul Shellhammer is finalizing the plans for the Fall program. We will be singing the Messiah and will be inviting members of the community to join us in rehearsals for that concert. Our first rehearsal is September 10 at 4pm at St Peters Episcopal Church. We do not have a concert date until the venue is established. We are planning for mid November.

Barb Schaab has joined the Board as a community member. She is committed to the mission of the ACCMS and already is a very active member of the board. You may recognize that she is the current County Recorder. The Board is saying goodby to Martha Sorohan. Martha has been both a singer and a board member for a number of years. She also participated in the Marketing and Publicity Committee and has offered to assist going forward with that work. She has moved from the area to be closer to family and her new job. We are so grateful for her time and talents and wish Martha the best. We will be looking for a new community board member. Please forward names of those you know that would serve our group.

To fund the ongoing operation of ACCMS, a financial campaign to attract sponsors/donors/patrons is coming. We are asking members of the choral to contact friends/family/businesses and ask them to be a donor/patron/sponsor. Individuals/family members will have their name and donor level in the brochure distributed at each performance. Businesses will have an advertisement in the brochure depending on sponsor level. A $25.00 donation is the starting level. The donors/patrons/sponsors help pay for music, piano tuning, accompanists, insurance and copyright coverage to name a few expenses. This year we will also ask donors/patrons to “Send a Singer to Carnegie Hall” above their usual contribution. Please make a list of businesses that you frequent that you can ask to contribute.

The next meeting of the Board is September 23 at 9 am at St. Peters. Any member of the chorale is invited to attend any Board meeting. There are separate meetings scheduled for Carnegie Hall – fundraising/transportation and housing and marketing/publicity. Singers are invited to participate on these committees. They will meet September 7 at 5:30 pm at St. Peters

Also, please “like” and share our Facebook page and review our website. We are continuing to add to the webpage and expand our digital presence. There is a calendar with the upcoming dates. Josh Woodard, Andy Chiodo and Austin Blair have been very instrumental. Doug Angerman is our Facebook contact. These board members along with Ellen Jacobs and Martha Sorohan are the Marketing and Publicity committee.

We are looking forward to making music together and want you and your friends, your neighbors, your children age 13 to join us. September 10, 4 pm, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Ashtabula, Ohio.

Dawn Grimm, ACCMS Board President

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Fundraisers for Carnegie Hall trip set for ACCMS in September and October

The fundraising portion of the Carnegie Hall trip is now in motion as the Ashtabula County Choral Music Society’s efforts are in full swing. After announcing in July that the ACCMS was selected to perform at Carnegie Hall in April 2024, we now have details on how the public can support the organization in their fundraising efforts. Below is a list of fundraisers the community can utilize to assist the ACCMS:

September 28 – Dining to Donate – Applebee’s – 3241 N Ridge Rd E, Ashtabula, OH 44004 – 11 am to close (click graphic for larger version)

October 8 – Sip & Paint – St. Peter’s Episcopal Church – 4901 Main Ave, Ashtabula, OH 44004 – 1-4 pm (graphic below) – Register Here

October 21 – Dining to Donate – Chipotle – 2911 N Ridge Rd E, Ashtabula, OH 44004 – 4-8 pm (graphic below)



Ashtabula County Choral Music Society selected to perform at Carnegie Hall

The Ashtabula Choral Music Society (ACCMS) has been selected to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

The performance will be April 22, 2024, as part of a combined choir celebrating the work of Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo. 

Paul Shellhammer, Artistic Director of ACCMS, submitted an audition video of the chorus performing Gjeilo’s “Dark and Luminous Night” at its March concert.  

After review by concert organizer DCNYC, the ACCMS was invited to participate. 

With the commitment will come numerous fund-raising events by the Ashtabula County Choral Music Society board over the coming months to offset travel and lodging costs.  

Choir members will travel to New York City ahead of the concert for two rehearsals of the combined choir and orchestra, which are viewed by Mr. Shellhammer as rich

opportunities to learn new choral skills and network with musicians from across the country.
“It’s an opportunity of a lifetime,” said one ACCMS member.

The non-profit Ashtabula County Choral Music Society has been performing significant choral works for over 30 years. 

Visit for more information.


Contact: Dawn Grimm, president  440-813-0396

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