ABOUT THE LONGMONT CHORALE
A Special Announcement for Our Local Student Musicians:
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2017 YOUTH VOCAL COMPETITION
Nina, our 2016 High School Division winner
The application Deadline is Wed., 10/04 for the Youth Vocal Competition on Saturday, 10/21.
We believe in investing in the future of vocal music. That’s why the Longmont Chorale supports young singers, encouraging them to sing with us, study classical vocal techniques, and participate in our Youth Vocal Competition.
The competition provides a performance opportunity for students as well as valuable feedback from three local music professionals who judge each student’s performance. This season’s competition will take place one week before All State competitions, providing a practice opportunity to those who participate.
Youth Vocal Competition winners are selected from two categories: Grades 6-9 and 10-12. Our first, second, and third place winners receive a cash prize. Each of our first place winners have the opportunity to perform a solo at our December concert.
This season, we will have a third category: “changed male voices”, if we have 5 or more applicants in that category.
Anna, our 2016 Middle School Division winner
Support the Youth Vocal Competition
Help support the Youth Vocal Competition by making a donation or becoming a sponsor. Send us a message through the form below to inquire, or call us at (303)651-7664.
Download your Application Form by clicking this button:
Contact us about participating in or supporting the Youth Vocal Competition
The Longmont Chorale provides and supports an open, non-auditioned community choir, enriching the lives of singers and patrons through the study, creation, and performance of beautiful choral music.
MEET OUR ARTISTIC STAFF
Scott received a Bachelor of Music from Biola University and a Master of Music from the University of Northern Colorado under the direction of Dr. Galen Darrough (director of the Longmont Chorale from 1990-2000). He has performed under renowned conductors, including Weston Noble, Roger Wagner, and many others. He also has served as Music Director in several churches, director of the Chorale Singers, Associate Pastor of Music and Worship at Calvary Church for 16 years, and accompanist for St. Vrain School District. Scott is starting his 11th season as Artistic Director of the Longmont Chorale.
You might notice that when Scott steps to the mic, he often is out of breath. He describes conducting as a dance requiring flexibility, strength, stamina, and the ability to stand for long periods without becoming stiff. And, it’s not just the physical aspects of conducting that take energy; remaining positive, enthusiastic, encouraging, and caring so much—these also are draining. Scott truly wants the emotions captured by the composer, experienced by the singers and accompanist, and flowing through his hands to inspire each of you in the audience.
Kati holds a Masters of Music degree in Conducting and a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Northern Colorado. She has performed across the United States and Europe as a pianist, conductor, and singer. As a student at UNC, Ms. Rittner was the assistant conductor of the UNC Men’s Glee Club and the University Singers ensemble. Katilyn also has performed in Germany with UNC Opera and maintains an active voice, piano, and music theory studio. She accompanied the Longmont Chorale on its tour of the United Kingdom in 2013.
Kati says when everything comes together, when a random assortment of people come together through music, “it’s euphoric. It is quite difficult to pull me down from Cloud 9 after a successful performance. As I start my second season with the Longmont Chorale, I’m excited to see what else this awesome group is capable of!” Longmont and all of Colorado can be proud of this seventh-generation Coloradan.
Karen has top-notch credentials. She started playing at age 4 and eventually received her Bachelor and Master of Music Education degrees from the University of Colorado-Boulder, studying voice and keyboard. Over the years, Karen has been: a vocal music teacher at St. Vrain Valley schools; pianist for Longmont High Schools; accompanist for junior and senior high vocal clinics working with conductors from across the nation; an arranger; a director; judge and accompanist for Stars of Tomorrow for nearly 40 years. Currently, she is organist, accompanist, and co-director for the worship choir at LifeBridge Christian Church in Longmont.
So, why hang in there for over 30 years with weekly rehearsals and concerts all over the community? She says it’s the friendships, the love and support shown members who are going through a hard time, and the team effort to reach a great outcome. We are grateful.
In 1930, dust clouds from the Great Drought cast a dark shadow over the 6,000 residents
of Longmont. Citizens had just voted out a City Council previously controlled by the Ku Klux
Klan and were trying to rebuild their city. Shantytowns appeared as families lost their homes in
the Depression. Not surprisingly, Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? was one of the top songs in the
U.S. So, how did Longmont respond? Not by giving in to those difficult times––certainly not the
25 singers who gathered together and raised their voices through the dark clouds in their first
performance of The Messiah at the Ahlberg Chapel. Every year thereafter, they invited more
singers until 1937, when they officially became The Longmont Community Choir, directed by its
founder, Mr. Albert James. They sang as Europe trembled, as Jesse Owens won a Gold Medal
under Hitler’s nose, as Amelia Earhart disappeared. When we look at what they created in that
menacing atmosphere, we can agree with the most popular saying of the day: “Well, I’ll be a
monkey’s uncle!” It was a treacherous decade,
But, they kept on singing….
Even as bombs fell around Europe, members of the Longmont Community Choir sang on
into the 1940s. Longmonters reeled from the attack on Pearl Harbor, and 2000 local sons and
daughters marched into WW II. Sugar beet production became critical to the war effort. and
many Japanese Americans avoided internment camps by traveling to Colorado to work the beet
fields. Colorado was the only state to accept them. German prisoners of war were housed on the
corner of Kimbark and Third Avenue in the Great Western Sugar Company’s hotel, now The Inn
Between. Woody Guthrie captured the horror and the hope of the 40s with This Land is Your
Land––“As the fog was lifting, a voice was chanting: This land was made for you and me.” In the
40s, Longmonters danced to Sentimental Journey. The Chorale enjoys singing both of these
songs almost 80 years later. Food was rationed, soldiers were gone for years on end; it would
have been easy to dismiss the arts as a luxury. Arts and nonprofit groups struggle in the best of
times, so what did the Community Choir do in the tumultuous 1940s? They could have quit,
But, they kept on singing…
In the 1950s––The Golden Age––some of Longmont’s 8000 residents splurged on
color TVs and HiFis. They could pick up a sport shirt at Penney’s for $1.98 and wear it to the
Longmont Pet and Doll Parade. The miraculous polio vaccine ended fear of that terrifying
paralytic disease. Horrified parents watched the Ed Sullivan Show as Elvis gyrated to Hound
Dog. In Longmont schools, children practiced Duck and Cover Drills, hiding under desks to
escape nuclear fallout. The Cold War was in full swing, including the specter of Big Brother.
There was some good news, too. The Space Race took off, and segregation became illegal in the
U.S. for the first time. The Community Choir had grown to 100 singers, with many original
members still singing. We haven’t located any remaining originals for our 80th Anniversary, but they truly are with us in spirit. We appreciate everyone who kept things going against
incredible odds. They could have given up,
But they kept on singing…
1960's & 1970's
Life in the 60s was unpredictable at best––drugs, the Vietnam War, protests, the Kennedy
assassination. But, there were Good Vibrations as well. In 1966, Longmont High School speech
teacher, Mr. Albert James, now conducted 140 community choir singers. Yes, that’s the same Mr.
James––founder of the Community Choir and namesake of Longmont High School Auditorium
where the Chorale later performed. That was pretty groovy. Also in 1966, Community Choir
members welcomed the brand new Longmont Symphony Orchestra to the local music scene.
The 1970s began in an uproar––first the shootings at Kent State and then a presidential
resignation. Vietnam divided us, Jonestown shocked us, the Munich Olympic massacre saddened us,
and Three Mile Island frightened us mightily. We even survived disco. The Community Choir
reflected the instability of the 70s as seven conductors took up the baton. While native son, astronaut
Vance Brand, soared above Longmont on the Apollo-Soyuz mission, singers raised their voices to
celebrate our nation’s bicentennial with another rousing performance of The Messiah.
They just kept singing…
1980's & 1990's
In the 1980s, 70 singers––now the Longmont Chorale––entertained Longmonters under
the direction of Raymond Harrison, whose talent and enthusiasm many of you enjoyed until his
retirement last spring. While parents scratched their heads trying to understand their
teenagers, the Chorale gained one bodacious accompanist, Karen Main. She still amazes our
audiences and us. Michael Jackson’s Thriller electrified the music world, but consider this:
between 1985 and 2016, Karen has missed only two rehearsals. That kind of commitment truly
is a thriller.
Musically, the 90s saw a pop music explosion, and the Longmont Chorale, under the
direction of Galen Darrough, exploded as well. Five groups––over 250 singers–– entertained at
concerts and local events. Longmont enjoyed the voices of the Chorale, the Children’s Chorale,
the Esprit Singers, the new Heartland Quartet, and the new auditioned group (now the Chorale
Singers.) In the 90s, the people of Colorado and the world were shocked by the tragedies at
Columbine High School and Oklahoma City. It’s no wonder the song, My Heart Will Go On, was a
top seller. But, as the Cold War faded from the headlines and Nelson Mandela was released from
prison, hearts were lifted once again,
And the Longmont Chorale kept on singing…
2000's & 2010's
The City of Longmont entered the new century 71,000 strong. The entire Front Range has
turned its attention to Longmont’s new restaurants, music venues, breweries, and festivals.
There’s new vitality in Sugar Beet Town! In 2013, the Longmont Chorale spread some of that
Longmont joy when we toured the UK, singing in London, Edinburgh, Dublin, and small towns
along the way. As with the previous decades, there are serious challenges. In this, our new
millennium, we struggle to comprehend and prevent terrorism. Leonard Bernstein reminded us
that war, crime, terror–– these things must not silence the music; they must redouble our
devotion to it. This year, we honor the devotion of singers, conductors, and accompanists who
have kept the music coming for eight decades. This year, we also celebrate ten years with our
amazing and devoted director, Scott Hamlin. And, we thank you for 80 years of support and
appreciation of our music. With such loyalty,
How can we keep from singing?
* We acknowledge and appreciate the poem “How can I keep from singing” by R. W. Lowry
The Longmont Chorale is a non-auditioned community choir. Only simple pitch matching exercises, done privately with our Artistic Director, are required for entry.
This means that our members span all musical skill, educational, and experience levels, from complete beginner to advanced.
We are one of few nonauditioned choirs left in our area.
The Longmont Chorale is open for membership by singers of all ages, high school and up. It is not uncommon for us to have high school seniors and senior citizens singing together, side by side. To encourage student participation, we waive high school and college students’ dues, up to age 22.
If you’ve been away from singing for a while, or maybe you’ve never sung in a choral group like ours – join us!
You need not join for all of the concerts of the season. Join us for our first or second rehearsal for each concert cycle. Watch our website and Facebook page for announcements about your next opportunity to sing. You can also join our email list, using the signup boxes on the Home page and Contact Us page.
For more information about singing with the Longmont Chorale, please take a look at our Join page.
Bob joined in early 2007 for the Mozart Requiem performances. He sings baritone, with occasional tenor solos. Most enjoyable are the major works and other classical music we sing as well as opera. Bob works in IT, currently as a database administrator. What’s his hobby? Chorale! “When I find time, I enjoy playing my piano and taking voice lessons. Chorale has had a really big impact on my life. I even met my wife (Paula) in Chorale!”
Dale has been in the Longmont Chorale for over 20 years. He sings 2nd tenor or what he calls, “failed Baritone.” It’s hard to tell he is retired. Dale is a pilot and member of the born-in-Tulsa tenors club – one of two members. To Dale, the Chorale means a chance to concentrate on music one night a week, leaving other cares behind, to make excellent friendships, and use his work skills in helping the Chorale. As ticket-meister, you often will hear Dale say, “You can’t sell ‘em if you don’t have ‘em!”
Kiersten has been a member since 2010 when she moved to Longmont. She’s a 2nd Soprano and loves Madrigals and traditional Christmas music. Kiersten is a manufacturing mechanical engineer for medical. Hobbies? Trying to stay sane with 2 young children. LC is community to her – an opportunity to express her musical talents and creativity with like-minded people that she hasn’t found anywhere else.
Lori was in the Chorale in the 1990s, then rejoined in 2012. She’s a 2nd soprano, but loves to learn all of the parts! She’s fascinated by the a cappella phenomenon (Pentatonix, Straight No Chaser.) Lori is in a master’s program at Regis University, studying Database Administration. She has experience as a professional accompanist and is also a professional quilter who has won international awards. “I love the Chorale because people there that love music as much as I do; we all have a common goal of producing beautiful music that feeds the souls of our audience as well as ourselves.”
Youth Vocal Competition Coordinator
Deb is a retired federal accountant who moved to Longmont from D.C. the end of 2011. She sang with the two pops choruses prior to moving here and joined the Longmont Chorale for the March 2014 performance of Carmina Burana with the LSO. She sings second alto and generally prefers pops music, but enjoys singing the variety offered by the Chorale. The Chorale offers both an outlet for her to sing but also to meet a great group of people.
Diane, Librarian for the Longmont Chorale, is a native of Longmont. She is passionate about helping elderly and others live with dignity and independence at home, so she created Diane Boyle’s Homecare LLC. Diane has been a member of the chorale 39 or 40 years, back when it was called Longmont Community Choir. “The Chorale is my extended family and pushes me to become a better singer, Librarian, and person.” I belong to Kindred Spirits of the Rockies, a paranormal group who explores alternative levels of communication with deceased.
Ian has been singing 2nd Bass with the Chorale for about five years. What he likes about the Chorale and Scott’s selections is that the music is so diverse. Ian is retired, but he has been a graphic designer, silversmith and yacht carpenter. In his spare time, he plays 1864 rules baseball, is the Chair for the Historic Preservation Commission in Berthoud, and does volunteer work at Longmont United Hospital. “Singing with the Longmont Chorale has been like music therapy for me. While in the hospital in 2009, I lost my voice entirely. My speech therapist sang with me and made me remember how much I enjoyed singing. Now singing has become a very big part of my life.”
Kathy has been in the Chorale for 30 years! She sings tenor. She likes pop and folk music, John Denver, the Carpenters. Kathy, now retired, was a Software Engineer and Personnel Manager for IBM. Her hobbies include travel, crochet, and Seek-n-Find Pillows for hospitals and foster children. She says, “The Longmont Chorale is a precious, safe place where I have learned much about vocal performance and have gained many friends.”
Program Advertising Sales Assistant
Cynthia joined the Chorale in 2002 as an alto. Her favorite music is the kind you can sing! She teaches piano at home and also teaches general music education grades Kindergarten through 6 at Mountain Peak Private School in Longmont. Cynthia enjoys taking walks and riding her bike, and Zumba class. She also enjoys digging in the dirt when playing backyard gardener. ”Mondays are difficult when there’s no chorale practice! I look forward to my weekly dose of choral music with the Chorale. It feeds my soul.”
Personnel, Grants, & Diversity
Nancy, tenor, has sung with the Longmont Chorale since 1989. Having retired from the public-school system, Nancy shares her skills with us for diversity, crisis and financial planning, personnel hiring and evaluations, and grant writing. Although classical music is her favorite genre, she enjoys singing the many different types of music we perform. Nancy and her husband raise goats near Lyons for the purpose of fire mitigation. She has also published two children’s stories about goats.
Recordings & Writing
Wendy has been in the Chorale for 5 years. She had not sung in a group since the ‘60s but considers it her lucky day when she joined the Chorale. She grew up in Michigan and lived many years in Iowa City before coming to Colorado. She is a retired hospice nurse coordinator and broadcast writing consultant. She does a little writing for the Chorale and manages CD sales. Currently, she is trying to survive her new puppy, Woody.
The Longmont Chorale Board of Directors is recruiting new members from our community. We offer the opportunity to support the performing arts in our community through the use of your talents. You need neither sing with the Chorale nor be a member of the Chorale in order to serve on the Board of Directors.
We currently have Board openings in: CD & DVD sales, Event Coordination, and Volunteer Coordination.
Please send us a message on the Contact Us page to discuss your potential membership on the Longmont Chorale Board of Directors.
Keep Us Singing!
Our volunteers make the season’s many performances possible. Without their support, we could not bring performances of great choral music to our community.
To view our current volunteer opportunities and consider which might be right for you, please click the button below.
We collect anonymous feedback through the survey form inserted into our printed programs.
Here’s a sampling of what our audience says.
Each season, we ask our members to share their thoughts about the Longmont Chorale.
Here are some of the things our members share.
The Longmont Chorale is occasionally reviewed by professional musicians and local media.
Here are excerpts from their reviews.
“The large choir is a completely non-auditioned choir, the only one in the area but that doesn’t mean poor quality. This group is completely professional in their demeanor, the way they present themselves, and their sound.” -Dawn Monachino, UNC School of Music Graduate Student
“Very well done and the combination of professionalism and community singing I heard coming from The Longmont Chorale makes this one of the top Chorales in Colorado and I would definitely mark their concerts on my calendar as a must to attend.” -Dawn Monachino, UNC School of Music Graduate Student
“(The song) “I’ll Tell My Ma” was arranged by Mr. Harrison as if everyone was sitting in an Irish Pub drinking and singing. Very lively and by the end of the piece, I think we all could join in the chorus. The banjo, violin and bass just added to the pub atmosphere all the more.” -Dawn Monachino, UNC School of Music Graduate Student
“Everyone looked attentive and excited, and this was one of the few choirs that I could say had more smiles on their faces than not.” -Dawn Monachino, UNC School of Music Graduate Student
(Writing about Chorale Singers) “Such clear, balanced voicing!” “Every song attests to this group’s commitment to excellent performance.” -Debbie Morneau, Choir Director, Faith Community Lutheran Church
“One thing I always like about the Longmont Chorale is successful use of dynamics, phrasing, and articulation. Every piece had interest and caused the time to fly, leaving this listener wishing for just a little bit more.” -Debbie Morneau, Choir Director, Faith Community Lutheran Church
“Your striving for music excellence is truly evident. Thank you for your commitment to share music of all kinds for our community!” -Debbie Morneau, Choir Director, Faith Community Lutheran Church
“My 31-year-old guest was especially thrilled with the young singers and dancers. My 81-year-old guest was thrilled with all the reminiscing she enjoyed through your concert. You successfully reached a wide audience!” -Debbie Morneau, Choir Director, Faith Community Lutheran Church
“Longmont Chorale members never cease to amaze me with their commitment to the music they learn for each concert.” -Debbie Morneau, Choir Director, Faith Community Lutheran Church
“As a whole, I thoroughly enjoyed the music of the Renaissance period through this unique offering from the Longmont Chorale. There was obvious preparation in these pieces, especially with so many sung a cappella. The various groups and musicians brought a varied selection within this period, and the pace and flow was wonderful. I look forward to hearing what the Longmont Chorale does next!” -Heather Romig, Heather Romig’s Voice & Piano Studio
“I was most impressed by the “Kyrie” in this set, as after all the polyphonic lines came together for the final chord, and a cappella no less, all voices were in the same key and ended strongly. In fact, all of the a cappella pieces were quite remarkable this concert.” -Heather Romig, Heather Romig’s Voice & Piano Studio
“Finally, one of the most inspiring things about the group is its inclusiveness. Obviously this is visible when the Chorale is on stage, and I think that is a wonderful message to send to the singers, the audience, and all the young people who attend the concerts.” -Peter Alexander, PhD, Sharps&Flatirons.com
“It was great to see the audience, both the number that you attract and the number of families. All of the logistics including the greeters at the door, people helping patrons find their seats, the intermission features and so forth made it very welcoming.”
-Peter Alexander, PhD, Sharps&Flatirons.com
“Thank you for including “The Fields of Athenry.” This very, very poignant piece expresses a little of what Ireland has really been about over the centuries, beyond shamrocks and leprechauns. It was in the right spot, too. I think ending with that would be too gloomy, but following it with the next two pieces was very good planning.
It was really fun to hear “Star of the County Down,” a song that should be better known. Great fun. “The Parting Glass” is obviously a great way to end the concert.”
-Peter Alexander, PhD, Sharps&Flatirons.com
“A few specific pieces merit recognition. O My Luve’s Like a Red, Red Rose had great attention to dynamics and phrasing. It was very expressive.”
“Mairi’s Wedding was a terrific way to end the first half.”
“Danny Boy was the high point of the entire concert for me. It was very expressive, very well blended and shaped throughout the piece, with the high point right where it should be. ”
-Peter Alexander, PhD, Sharps&Flatirons.com