P O Box 426 Newton, NJ 07860 US

(201) 400-3317 sussexoratorio@gmail.com

Membership Information

Welcome to the oldest choral organization in Sussex County!  We are delighted that you may be considering joining our group. We hope that you will find much joy in sharing our love of music and song, as we strive to present high-quality choral music to the community.  

We have all heard the old adage:  “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.”  Well, a chorus is only good when it is well rehearsed and has a cohesive sound.  In order to achieve a unified, harmonious sound, it is most important that our members make every effort to attend all of the rehearsals.  We ask that each member miss no more than 4 rehearsals per semester.  If there are extenuating circumstances, please speak to our director, Joe Piccirillo: 862-268-1423, jspiccirillo@gmail.com.  We want all of our members to have the best experience possible.

Rehearsals & Participation

  • We rehearse on Wednesday evenings from 7:45 to 9:45 pm at Building D, Room 115 of Sussex County Community College, Newton, NJ from after Labor Day in September until the concert in May.
  • There may also be some special pre-concert rehearsals – scheduled on an as needed basis and a dress rehearsal, usually the day before the concert.
  • Under normal circumstances, it is expected that a member shall miss no more than four (4) rehearsals per semester.
  • Contact your section leader if you have to miss a rehearsal.  (If a rehearsal is to be cancelled, your section leader will notify you, usually between 6:00 & 6:30 pm.)
  • We expect members to join us in our spring fundraising effort because this is an important source of money. The process will be explained during rehearsals beginning in February. Dues and ticket sales do not nearly cover the cost of rehearsal space, performance hall, musicians and staff salaries.  
  • Dues and a share of the cost of music is currently $50 per semester for adults and $35 for students, due one month after start-up, which means by mid-October or mid-February.
  • Members are welcome to attend board meetings, usually held the second Wednesday of each month before rehearsals.


  • January – the 1st or 2nd Sunday afternoon in January (except Jan 1) for our winter semester.
  • May – the 1st Sunday afternoon in May for our spring semester.
  • Dress rehearsal, with instruments, is usually held the Saturday before the performance.
  • Members are asked to bring finger food for our post-concert reception(s).
  • There may be other performance opportunities during or between semesters that will depend on need and members’ availability. 

Concert Attire 

Women wear a floor length, Empire waisted, navy blue gown with a scoop neck, three quarter

sleeves and inverted front pleats for a soft look in the front. There is a small sash which ties in

the back for easy adjustment. It is made of a soft, performance knit fabric which is both

comfortable to wear and easy to care for. 

Women are asked to provide closed toed shoes and simple jewelry ( earrings and necklace )to finish this elegant look. The gowns are purchased through the Oratorio Society from Formal Fashions Inc. at a cost of $60 for each member. The Oratorio Society covers all shipping and any extra cost Formal Fashions Inc. charges for larger sizes.

Men wear a black, two button blazer and navy blue satin bow tie matching the womens'

gowns.The blazer’s buttons are a burnished gold color. The blazer and bow tie are purchased

through the Oratorio Society from Formal fashions Inc. for $60 for each member. The Oratorio

Society will cover both shipping and any extra cost Formal Fashions Inc. charges for larger

sizes. The men will provide a white shirt, black pants and black shoes.

All member of the choir are required to have a 3-ring black binder to hold their music .

Social Gatherings

We are a friendly group and love to get together to socialize and share good food and fellowship.  We usually try to have a winter party, schedules and weather permitting, and we almost always have a summer picnic.  Friendship and fun are just two of the “perks” of being a Sussex County Oratorio member – along with the joy of making music together.

Officers, Directors and Staff for 2019/2020

Artistic Director/Conductor    Joe Piccirillo  862-268-1423

Accompanist                                      Paul Fersch    973-945-2006

SCOS Board:

President                                              Tom Yates      201-400-3317

Vice President                                    Kathleen Marshall

Treasurer                                               Curt Wilson

Assistant Treasurer                         Steve Piccirillo

Recording Secretary                       Joy Sullivan

Corresponding Secretary             Debbie Nannery

Past President                                     Dick Butera

At Large                                                   Alicia Cruz

At Large                                                   Linda-Jean Euler   

At Large                                                   Don Rutsch

At Large                                                   Mike Spoer

At Large                                                   Colleen Tosti

Section Leaders:

Soprano                                                    Debbie Nannery  732-841-5967

Alto                                                             Joy Sullivan             973-383-5315

Tenor                                                          Curt Wilson            908-454-8891

Bass                                                             Dick Butera            973-729-9391