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 30-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 350 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, Paul Peretti, Kathleen Rindge, Stuart Tribble, and Don Wolczko. Volunteer section leaders are Kaycie Alanis, Shannon Flora, Jim Gardner and Dan McDevitt. Peter Dorman leads the Chorale’s Chamber Singers.

There have been seventy-two (73) 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. In 2018, a seven movement piece entitled “And All Shall Be Well” was commissioned from composer Giselle Wyers and premiered at the spring concerts last year.

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. In 2005, six singers participated in a mass choir at New York’s Carnegie Hall performing Jackson Berkey's “American Journey”.

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. A month later, singers from the Chorale participated in Vashon Opera’s “Pagliacci Palooza”.

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” shared the stage with the Chorale for rousing concerts of big band music.

In 2017, the Chorale became the fiscal sponsor for Vashon Choral Boosters and encourages the youth of our community to sing with the Youth Chorus! The Chorale is a proud member of the Seattle Choral Consortium and an artistic partner of the Emerald Ensemble.

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.

Chorale photo


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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