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) non-profit corporation. During its long history, the Chorale has been under the direction of six conductors: Kendall Campbell, Jerry McGee, Marita Ericksen, Patricia Hudson, David Kappy and, currently, Gary D. Cannon. Guest conductors Anthony Spain and Elizabeth Nye each directed a concert.
At least 250 singers have sung with the group since its foundation. Two current members, Susan Hedrick and Judy Whitney, were even founders who sang at the inaugural performance. Presidents of the organization have included Doug Dolstad, Jim Boulé, Dan Brown, Kristen Peterson, Marijke van Heeswijk and, currently, Jo Ann Bardeen. A volunteer board of directors and section leaders make up the Chorale’s leadership.
As of early 2012, there have been fifty-six concerts since the Chorale first started making music on Vashon Island. The first one, on November 12, 1989, was held at the Burton Church. Other churches hosting concerts have been Vashon Lutheran, Vashon United Methodist, Church of the Latter Day Saints, and St. John Vianney Catholic Church. The current regular performance venue is Bethel Church. Additionally, the Chorale has sung at Ober Park, McMurray Middle School, both the Vashon High School Gym and the Theater, the O Space, Chautauqua Elementary School, the Vashon Movie Theater, on an Argosy Christmas Ship Cruise and even at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. Besides the formal spring and winter concerts, there have been Messiah sing-alongs, Strawberry Festival appearances, summer concerts in the park, New Year’s Eve concerts, and two 9/11 memorial concerts. Countless instrumentalists have played in orchestras for the Chorale’s concerts and many talented pianists have served as rehearsal accompanists, including our current pianist, Linda Lee.
Looking to the future, the Vashon Island Chorale eagerly anticipates a new home at the Vashon Center for the Arts and wholeheartedly supports that effort.
Dedicated to performing fine
choral music in and for the
Vashon & Maury Island