When the Vashon Island Chorale began in 1989,it was known as Island Singers. The name was officially changed in the mid-1990’s and the organization became a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation. During its 27-year history, the Chorale has been under the direction of six conductors: Kendall Campbell, Jerry McGee, Marita Ericksen, Patricia Hudson, David Kappy and Dr. Gary D. Cannon. Guest conductors Anthony Spain and Elizabeth Nye each directed a concert.

At least 300 singers have sung with the Chorale at one time or another. Founders of the group, Susan Hedrick and Judy Whitney are still members.  Presidents of the organization have included (in order) Doug Dolstad, Jim Boulé, Dan Brown, Dick Paulsen, Kristen Peterson, Marijke van Heeswijk and Jo Ann Bardeen (current). A volunteer board of directors makes up the Chorale’s leadership. Currently serving with Bardeen are Karen Baer, Mecky Chappelka , John de Groen, Joe Farmer,  June Langland, Mary Frances Lyons, Leslie McIntosh, Margie Morgan, Kathleen Rindge, Stuart Tribble, and Don Wolczko. Volunteer section leaders are Shannon Flora (soprano), Kaycie Alanis (alto), Dan McDevitt (tenor) and Jim Gardner (bass).

There have been sixty-six (66) concerts in the Chorale’s history. The first concert on Nov. 12, 1989 was held at the Burton Church. Other Island churches hosting concerts have been Vashon Lutheran, Vashon United Methodist, Church of the Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ, St. John Vianney Catholic Church, and Bethel Church. Additionally, the Chorale has sung at Ober Park, McMurray Middle School, both the Vashon High School Gym and the old Theater, the O Space, Chautauqua Elementary School, and the Vashon Movie Theater. Besides the formal spring and winter concerts, there have been Sing Along Messiah events, Strawberry Festival gigs, summer concerts in the park, New Year’s Eve concerts, and two 9/11 Memorial concerts.

The Chorale’s 25th Anniversary in 2014 was celebrated with a free concert entitled “No Bridges”, a commissioned work by West Seattle composer Bronwyn Edwards.  The 11-movement piece was premiered on Vashon Island and also sung at the Fauntleroy Church where Edwards directs the choir.

The Vashon Island Chorale has been invited twice (2010 & 2014) to perform at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall with several other choirs and a large orchestra singing Mozart’s “Requiem” and Mozart’s “Grand Mass in C Minor”. In December 2006, the Chorale sang a concert of carols on an Argosy Christmas Ship Cruise.

Countless instrumentalists and solo artists have played in orchestras for Chorale concerts and many talented pianists have served as rehearsal accompanists and performers. Linda Lee is the current pianist. Vocal soloists over the years have included hired professionals and members of the Chorale. Bell choirs and children’s choruses have also performed with the Chorale. Several times, the “Portage Fillharmonic” has shared the stage with the Chorale for rousing concerts of big band music.

The Vashon Island Chorale provided the opening concerts of Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” in the Katherine L White theater at the Vashon Center for the Arts in April 2016. Plans in upcoming seasons include the beloved Handel’s “Messiah”, the premiere of Abraham Kaplan’s “Song of Songs”, Haydn’s “Lord Nelson Mass”, Arthur Honegger’s “Christmas Cantata”, Daniel Pinkham’s “Christmas Cantata”, William Averitt’s “Away to the Skies” and the world premiere of a commissioned work entitled “Legacy”. By the time the Chorale’s concert # 100 rolls around, who knows what amazing masterwork will be presented!

About the Chorale
Vashon Island Chorale, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, was established in 1989 and is dedicated to the promotion of fine choral music in the Vashon community. Membership is open without audition. Vashon Island Chorale does not discriminate because of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, or sexual orientation. To join the email information list for Chorale events, write to
webmaster@vashonislandchorale.org. Tax deductible contributions to the Vashon Island Chorale are gladly accepted! Mail to P.O. Box 2325, Vashon, WA 98070 or donate on the website.

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The Vashon Island Chorale engages, enriches, and unites our island community by providing opportunities for all people to participate in, learn about and
enjoy fine chorale music.

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