By: Lorrie Ward Jackson | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: April 2011
The Claremore Community Chorus (L to R): (front row) Barbara Morgan, Kay Patterson, Donna Nickols, Martha Vandiver, Jan Deffenbaugh, Roz Burger, Mary Jo Rostek, (middle row) Bonnie Paul, Ruth Mathews, Grace Cox, Elissa Ericksen, Phyllis Ericksen, Letitia Keene, Jeanette Maxfield, pianist, (back row) Ken Skidmore, Charlie Keene, Joe Maxfield, Clyde McClendon and Jim Patterson. (Not pictured: Director Vicki McCuistian, Nancy Dorias, Jean Skyes, Kenny Puffer, Dan Luther, and Sally Karlovitz.)
Claremore Community Chorus provides an opportunity for vocalists to share their talent with the community. Being able to use and share your talent provides a great escape from the hectic demands of life!
“We are a group of people who like to sing and perform above and beyond our daily jobs and church choirs,” explains Donna Nickols, publicity coordinator and member of Claremore Community Chorus. “We are currently in rehearsal for our spring concert and welcome anyone who would like to sing to please come join us.” Donna also points out that anyone from the area is welcome to join. “We have members from as far away as Locust Grove,” she says.
The Chorus performs a broad spectrum of musical selections. Each year the Chorus offers two concerts, a winter and a spring concert. In addition, the Chorus participates in other community events such as caroling for Dickens on the Boulevard, the Christmas Parade, Will Rogers Days, and more. Rehearsals are held weekly on Tuesday evening from 7 until 9 p.m. at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, 1304 N. Dorothy in Claremore.
The 25th annual spring concert will be Tuesday, May 17, 2011, at 7:30 p.m., at First United Methodist Church, located at 1615 N. Hwy. 88 in Claremore; a reception will follow. “The Claremore Community Chorus over the years has performed concerts at the following facilities: St. Cecilia Catholic Church, First United Methodist Church, Church of the Nazarene, First Christian Church, Redeemer Lutheran Church, and New Life Baptist Church,” says Donna. By welcoming Claremore Community Chorus in this way, these places help the choir remain a viable part of the Claremore community, as it participates in community-oriented events year-round.
Claremore Community Chorus celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and has enjoyed a rich and interesting history. The Chorus is a not-for-profit organization, and the community’s financial support has been essential to its success. Dr. Don Trot, Rogers State University Music Department Professor and Choir Director, founded the Chorus in 1986. Under his and Buddy Watson’s direction, the Chorus was invited to join other choirs around the nation to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City. In the past, the Chorus has joined efforts with other area choirs to present Handel’s “Messiah” with the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra.
After its establishment, the Chorus has been directed by several talented directors which include Larry Mitchell, Buddy Watson and is currently directed by Vicki McCuistian. Ms. McCuistian was a member and soloist of Claremore Community Chorus for many years prior to becoming director.
Claremore Community Chorus is governed by an elected Board of Directors who are elected by its members, and the current new leadership is excited about the potential for new Chorus members as well as seeking out additional opportunities for the Chorus to participate in community events.
If you are interested in becoming a member of Claremore Community Chorus or to learn more about the Chorus, please visit Claremore communitychorus1986/Facebook page or email us at claremorecommunitychorus1986 @yahoo.com.