Photos: The Cheshiremen Chorus performs at Twelve Pine in Peterborough

  • The Cheshiremen Chorus usually does a Christmas show, but since the pandemic has been limited to small community events. — Staff photo by Emari Traffie

  • The Cheshiremen Chorus consists of men from Peterborough, Jaffrey, Dublin, Keene, Sullivan and even from across the border in Massachusetts. —Staff photo by Emari Traffie

  • Mark Rousseau conducts the show and said this style of traditional chorual singing began in the late 1800s and by the 1920s it was a very popular art. —Staff photo by Emari Traffie

  • ”It wasn’t Christmas for me until this moment,” said conductor Mark Rousseau. “It was ‘Silent Night’ that did it for me.” — Staff photo by Emari Traffie

Published: 12/14/2021 1:05:04 PM
Modified: 12/14/2021 1:04:29 PM

The Cheshiremen Chorus, the Keene chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, performed traditional Christmas carols on the patio of Twelve Pine in Depot Square Dec. 10.

Mark Rousseau conducted the show and said this was their first time performing a Christmas show since 2019. The group consists of men from Peterbrough, Dublin, Jaffrey, Keene and even one from Massachusetts.

“We definitely know it’s in kind of the ‘square’ genres” Rousseau said. “The society as a whole several years ago started a push for what they call ‘everyone in harmony’ which is an inclusion to singers of all genders and races—which it’s kind of always been. When I have at least four women show up at my door, we will do a mixed chorus.”

Rousseau has been conducting performances since he was asked to be the ringmaster for a circus in the first grade.

“It wasn’t Christmas for me until this moment,” said Rousseau. “It was ‘Silent Night’ that did it for me.”

The Cheshiremen Chorus will be at the United Church of Christ in Keene this weekend providing ambiance for the church’s Christmas bazaar. They are open to everyone and meet Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to approximately 9 p.m. The group’s next meeting is Jan. 4, 2022, at Hannah Grimes Center at 25 Roxbury St. in Keene. Facility protocols require indoor masking at all times. 

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