Choral Fellows & Scholars Program @FBC

About the Program

The First Baptist Church of Medford, with generous support from the Boston Baptist Social Union, is delighted to announce the creation of a Choral Fellows and Scholars Program designed to promote appreciation and love for traditional sacred music and to cultivate a new generation of outstanding choir leaders in service to the Church 

The CFS Program supports the integral work of the parish choir, and at its core it has two components: 

1. Intensive one-to-one technical training in musicianship, vocal production, diction, musical interpretation, and the range of traditional liturgical music.

2. Regular implementation of the technical training in a live lab of singers; namely, the church choir.

See Full Program Description below for details about schedule, compensation,  and audition requirements.

Inquiries may be directed to Rev. Rasure at

There is rolling admission into the program with auditions starting in early May 2019.

Choral Fellows & Choral Scholars

Additional Information

The (2) Choral Fellows are on analogy to what some choirs have called “soloists,” “section leaders,” or “ringers” with a decidedly educational focus. Each Choral Fellow will be offered a CF Stipend, and will be assigned two Choral Scholars to mentor in the choir, and to whom they will give three 1-hour voice lessons per month for the duration of the program. 

The ideal candidates would be advanced conservatory/music students or graduates, who, in addition to having demonstrated technical skills, also have interest in developing their skills as teachers and vocal coaches. They will be chosen according to their voice range: high (soprano/alto) or low (tenor/bass/baritone).

The (4) Choral Scholars might be called “soloists-in-training.” The Choral Scholars will be offered a modest CS Stipend to defray incidental expenses,and in return for their service to the choir will receive private voice instruction at least twice a month from their assigned Choral Fellow and from the CFS Director, Ms. Gina Picerno. 

The ideal candidates would be promising students in college or beginning conservatory (exceptional candidates from high school may also apply) who wish to receive high quality vocal training and to immerse themselves in the literature of traditional choral music. They will be chosen according to their voice range: high (soprano/alto) or low (tenor/bass/baritone).

The Choral Fellows and Scholars will also provide support and encouragement to the volunteers in the church choir through their regular participation in this “live-lab” of singers.


Ms. Gina Picerno

Gina Picerno is the Director of the Choral Fellows and Scholars Program. 

Ms. Picerno studied at New England Conservatory in Boston receiving a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance. She has been involved in performing sacred music in churches throughout Rhode Island and Massachesetts from a young age, working with many renowned directors and organists. She  was a member of the Rhode Island Civic Chorale, and as also appeared in opera performances with Artist’s Internationale in Rhode Island and in musical theatre productions at Giordano’s Dinner Theatre in Massachesetts. 

Ms. Picerno has attended the McClosky Institute for Voice and continues to study vocal technique. She  has been singing and coaching the choir in vocal technique at First Baptist Church for over 20 years as well as teaching piano and voice privately. Ms. Picerno also holds a Masters of Education in Early Childhood from Lesley University  and teaches at The Centre School in Milton, where she has implemented a music curriculum for toddler and preschool age children.

She has studied voice with Susan Clickner and Bonnie Pomfret. She has sung under the direction of and in collaboration with Lorna Cooke DeVaron, Donald Polumbo, Ronald Morris, and Alexander Peloquin.


Dr. Nancy Crandall


Dr. Nancy Crandall  is the Director of Music & Organist at the First Baptist Church of Medford.

Dr. Crandall  graduated with a degree in organ literature and performance from Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester in the class of the late Russell Saunders.  She has taught music in Kingsway College, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada,  Greater Boston Academy, Stoneham, MA and as a Musical Specialist in the public school districts of Lawrence,MA, and Worcester, MA.  She has been music director at the First Baptist Church, Medford, MA, since 2006.

Dr. Crandall studied Choral Conducting at Royal School of Church Music, Croydon, England.; Music Analysis and French solfege’ at the American Conservatory, Fontainebleau, France  (w/ Nadia Boulanger and Annette Dieudonné) and Longy School of Music, Cambridge, MA; Theory/Analysis Lessons with Dr. Arthur Komar, Boston , MA;  Choral Directing/Voice Building at Lehrgang für Chorleitung und Chorische Stimmbildung, (Choral Directing/Voice Building) St. Moritz, Switzerland; Education Through Movement: Foundation at High/Scope Educational Research Foundation; and Vocal production at McClosky Institute of Voice, Boston, MA; She holds Kodály Level I, II & III certificates from Kodály Institute, New England Conservatory of Music. Instructional Software, Internet and Digital Media was studied at The Midi Schoolhouse.

Kodály Institute, New England Conservatory of Music, Kodály Level I, II & III

The Midi Schoolhouse – Instructional Software, Internet and Digital Media

High/Scope Educational Research Foundation – Education Through Movement: Foundation

McClosky Institute of Voice, Boston, MA

She studied piano and organ under Virginia-Gene Rittenhouse, Frank Araujo, Barclay Wood, George Faxon, Emory Fanning, and Russell Saunders.

Program Description and Poster

Choral Scholars Poster (pdf)


00 Program Description (pdf)