Fall Artistic Director & Conductor
This season marks Beth’s 20th year as Artistic Director of Reading Community Singers. She is incredibly proud of how RCS has grown in both numbers, skill and fellowship. Beth is delighted to continue the opportunity to conduct this dynamic group of talented, hard-working, and dedicated performers. She has twice led RCS on tour to New York City where they have had successful performances on the deck of the aircraft carrier “Intrepid”, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the top of the Empire State Building, and at the Statue of Liberty.
Beth enjoys expanding performances within the greater Reading community at events like Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Reading Tree Lighting Ceremony, Menorah Lighting, the Reading Street Faire, and special performances at senior residences. Beth has also led RCS in singing the national anthem at Gillette Stadium sports events and for the Lowell Spinners baseball team.
Beth holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education with a major in vocal music, and a Masters of Arts Education with a major in Arts Administration. She attended Boston University, the University of MA in Lowell, and Fitchburg State University. She has been an active musician, director, public school music teacher, and performer in the Boston area for over 30 years. She has been a conductor and/or performer for the Winthrop Playmakers, Quannapowitt Players, Colonial Chorus of Reading, Melrose Community Players, and many other community theater organizations. She was the proprietor and Artistic Director of “The Drama Shop” a popular summer theater program for children in grades 1 through 9. Beth has also served as music director for The Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading, St. Peter’s Parish of Malden, and the North Andover Community Chorus. Recently she joined a University level chorus herself, singing soprano!
In addition to directing RCS, Beth is a private voice teacher and a free-lance music director for youth and community theater. Beth enjoys living in Reading with her husband Al, an author, composer/arranger, and former music teacher for the Reading Public Schools. She is also the proud mother of two fabulous sons, Jeff and Brian. Beth can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe currently resides in Stoneham, and has been an integral part of the theater community of the North Shore for a number of years. Since graduating from Reading High School in 1978, Joe has maintained an extensive career in piano performance in the Northeast, having played for fifteen years with the LaPierre School of Ballet and a wide variety of community theater productions in Reading, Wilmington, Wakefield, Peabody and New Hampshire. At the present, in addition to accompanying The Reading Community Singers, Joe is also accompanist for The Wakefield Choral Society. In addition to his activities as an accompanist, Joe teaches piano lessons at Reading Creative Arts.
Spring Artistic Director & Conductor
Elijah Botkin, a Boston-based conductor, arranger, choral educator, and performer, is thrilled to be the Spring Artistic Director for the Reading Community Singers. Graduating from Northeastern University in 2015 with bachelor’s degrees in Music History & Analysis and Mathematics, he was also recently named the Music Director for Revels in December of 2021. While at Northeastern, Elijah founded and directed the Northeastern Madrigal Singers, served as President and Assistant Conductor for the NU Choral Society, and sang with and arranged for the award-winning a cappella group Distilled Harmony.
Elijah’s work on Distilled Harmony’s quarterfinal-winning performance set won the distinction of Outstanding Arrangement from the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella. His arrangement of “Nothing Feels Like You” by Little Mix also won a CARA (Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award) for Best Mixed Collegiate Song. In 2014, Elijah was granted the Gideon Klein Award in order to write his composition The Closed Town, which was premiered by the Northeastern University Chamber Choir in April 2015. More recently, his arrangements and compositions for Midwinter Revels: A Celebration of the Solstice were hailed by the Boston Globe as “uncannily idiomatic,” and “beautiful” by the Theater Mirror.
In addition to his role with RCS and Revels, Elijah continues to direct the NU Madrigal Singers and is also a frequent performer with a variety of professional ensembles in the Boston area, with recent and upcoming performances including appearances with Carduus and the Renaissonics at New England Conservatory’s First Mondays concert series, with Chorus pro Musica for their Boston premiere of David Lang’s the little match girl passion, and with the Nightingale Vocal Ensemble for their concert, Avian Menagerie. The NU Madrigal Singers will also present their 10-year Anniversary Concert this coming April, to celebrate Elijah’s 10-years as founder and director.