Alumna launches Freedom & Unity Chorus
“Given these troubling times where more and more people are being told they do not belong, Vermont’s Freedom & Unity Chorus plans to demonstrate through our music and our singers that ALL voices are welcome in the chorus and in the state,” says Saint Michael’s College alumna Maria Rinaldi ’00 about her recent efforts to found a choral group “to spread the message of peace and justice across the Green Mountain State.” Rinaldi, the musical director of this developing chorus, suffered a spinal cord injury at the age of 12 which left her paralyzed from the chest down. Not one to let her disability define her, she pursued her love for singing with acclaimed vocal coach and performing artist, Shyla Nelson Stewart. A native Vermonter, Rinaldi was born and raised in Winooski. She graduated valedictorian of her high school class and went on to attend Saint Michael’s College where she graduated summa cum laude. She now is employed by Saint Michael’s doing work for the Admission office, sings with the Saint Michael’s College Liturgical Choir for Sunday Mass in the college chapel, and lives in Jericho.