COSMOPS: A Brief History, 1933-2013
The Muskegon Cosmopolitan Male Singers first performed as an octet in 1933. Within a year they had grown to a full-fledged male chorus of close to 50 singers. Soon they would be performing at a national competition, the Chicagoland Music Festival, earning 3rd place. 83 years of performances later we are still here performing and enjoying.
A glance at the Cosmops’ early repertoire reveals an emphasis on more classical-type of music, but there was always an attempt to balance programs with a variety of musical styles. In April 1950, the Cosmops joined in a Michigan Male Chorus Association Concert and there was active involvement in that association during the 50′s and 60′s.
Over the decades other ensembles have performed with the Cosmops. In May 2005 The Schubert Male Chorus of Grand Rapids staged a dual concert with the Cosmops. Home-grown Metropolitan Opera stars, Richard Versalle and Gweneth Bean, are the most well known among many vocal soloists to have performed with the Cosmops over the years.
The mission of the Muskegon Cosmops to promote the art of male singing and provide quality, entertaining choral concerts for the greater Muskegon community has remained a constant. Towards that end the Cosmops historically provided musical scholarships for young performers for many decades. Today, to assure the continuation and longevity of the Cosmops, we humbly invite any interested male singers, regardless of musical background, to come and try us out; there are no tryout auditions. It is through the recruitment of new members that the Cosmops constantly renews itself. Finally, a great thank you to all of you, our faithful audience, for your continued support in both attendance and financial contributions! Without you there would have not been this opportunity for men to get together to sing across the generations. We also thank our concert host- and rehearsal venue for many years, Central United Methodist Church; and thanks to our current rehearsal venue First Baptist Church of Muskegon.