Coshocton Community Choir recalls 1982-1992: coshocton beacon today
The Coshocton Community Choir, founded and conducted by Charles R. Snyder, celebrates its 50th anniversary this season. A celebration concert will be held on Sunday, April 24 at 3:00 p.m. in the McKinley Auditorium at Coshocton High School. Here is a look back at the early years of the choir – the second decade.
In the early 1980s, the choir commissioned artist Suzanne Smailes Clark to design its logo and suggested the Cross of St. Andrew. “His classic adaptation was simple and elegant, and proclaimed our purpose and mission: to worship God through song,” Snyder shared..
The growing choir needed more organization and the first officers were elected: Donna Dolick, president; Dave Bown, Vice President; Kathy Rockey, secretary; Becky Lerch, Treasurer; Lizzie Horst, librarian; and Judy Pingle and Sharon Sutton, publicity. The other officers chosen were: Jan Kinder, Patty Thompson, Jim Bundy and Ed Duling, Section Chiefs; Roger Foster, Property Manager; Cherie Snyder, bathrobe manager; and Ann Leppla and Tom Rockey, Publicity Committee. Helen Wright continued as accompanist.
“In February 1982, we sponsored Paul Christiansen’s Concordia Choir concert at McKinley Auditorium,” Snyder said. “The response from the community was enthusiastic and the impact on the community choir was immediate: the sound of our choir reflected what they had heard, and more people auditioned to join us.”
That summer, the choir was invited to join the Coshocton County Community Group for a summer concert in Court Square. The tradition will continue for eight years.
In the fall, conductor Snyder spent seven weeks studying with Dr. Christiansen at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. “To attract more listeners, Dr. Christiansen suggested moving our concerts from churches to public auditoriums and selling tickets,” Snyder said. “While we were skeptical, we decided to give it a try. We had scheduled two performances at the Triple Lock Theatre. The concerts were sold out. »
The first fundraising was successful. The choir took their first road trip and sang their Christmas concert at Trinity United Methodist Church in Mt. Gilead.
Dickie Rohrer was welcomed as an accompanist in 1983 and the choir’s Christmas concert attracted 800 listeners. “Lee Bown became our choir director in 1984, and her ideas and enthusiasm were contagious,” Snyder said. “Ron Little was named assistant conductor that fall.”
Robes, risers and a choir shell were made possible in 1984, with a grant from the Coshocton Foundation and donations from Ed and Frances Montgomery, and Seward and Edith Schooler.
In April 1985, a friend of the choir, attorney Harold E. Hunt, filed the paperwork for their nonprofit incorporation status.
In the fall of 1985, the choir had its first auditions, when nearly 100 singers showed interest in singing. With Lee Bown on board, the choir held its first annual fundraiser. They also sang for the Ohio Choral Directors Association fall in Salt Fork. In December, the choir offered Christmas concerts at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and the audience grew to 1,100.
In February 1986, the Concordia Choir was in Coshocton for two days. The morning after the concert, Dr. Christiansen worked with the mass choir (300 high school and adult singers) and critiqued performances by the Coshocton High School Choir and a community choir ensemble. Subsequently, he led his choir in several spirituals. Spirits were high.
“For our 15and anniversary that year, we had a concert at Coshocton Presbyterian Church, singing the first half in the multi-colored robes of the church choir and putting on our new robes for the second half,” Snyder said.
Later that year, the Chorus and Symphony Orchestra of Southeastern Ohio (SEOSO) performed in Coshocton, and Snyder conducted the combined ensembles. The choir also sang an a cappella concert in the glorious acoustics of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Somerset.
The choir had its first Christmas Festival concert in 1987, with narration, a painted backdrop and an instrumental ensemble for 1,350 listeners. In the spring, they played again with the SEOSO, now led by Dr. John Kolpitcke.
The first Coshocton Children’s Choir debuted in 1988. The 33 singers wowed audiences. The choir’s first Bachert scholarships were awarded to two graduates in the spring.
Thomas E. Havelka was named associate conductor that fall, and the choir performed its Christmas concert at St. John’s Lutheran Church and sang to a packed house.
The choir sponsored a concert by The American Boychoir, preceded by an assembly for 1,100 third- and fourth-grade students from the area. The results – seventh and eighth graders lobbied for two more years in the children’s choir.
If you are a choir alumni and have not yet received information about the 50th anniversary celebration, call the choir office at 740-623-0554. For more information about the Coshocton Community Choir, visit www.CoshoctonCommunityChoir.org.
Category: Culture & Leisure