Choral Union LTD


P.O. Box 2241JanesvilleWisconsin53547United States View Map


(608) 741-5074


Choral Union has made history by performing a number of "firsts" including the Midwest premiere of Bach's St. Matthew Passion (1953), Boatwright's "Canticle of the Sun," Vaughan-Williams' "Hodie,", and Finzi's "Intimations of Immorality"as well as several state premieres. It has been said that the greatness of Choral Union comes from the tremendous bond and fellowship between the singers themselves, and with the director, as they work to perform some of the greatest choral music ever written. The emotional highs of singing together are what brings members back year after year. In 1976, Bernie Westlund gave his farewell performance after 30 years as Choral Union director. At that time Westlund commented, "for the singers, the enjoyment is in rehearsing and learning the meaning of the music beyond the notes on the page. The performance is their joyful gift to the audience." Professor Thomas Sanborn became the new director in 1977, having been with the Choral Union as accompanist for 20 years. In 1993, Richard Severing took over the reins as director after Sanborn's untimely death before the season started. Severing believes strongly in the chorus and its role in the community. "I believe in music as a force that brings people together," Severing commented in the Janesville Gazette in December, 2011. He continued, "I also think it's important that communities are brought together. I guess both things happen to be the same goal." Gazette Reporter Ann Fiore summed it up best in December, 2011 : Each year, the challenge is the same: Take a mix of 100+ experienced and novice singers, give them demanding pieces of choral music, and teach them how to sing. And each year, the group produces a work of art, something greater than the sum of its parts.

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