You are here: Home - About Us - History

History

The Holland Chorale has served the communities of West Michigan for over fifty years and draws singers from Holland, Zeeland, Hamilton, South Haven, Hudsonville, Jenison Grandville, Grand Rapids, and Grand Haven.

The auditioned civic chorus began in Holland in 1960 as the Magnachords Male Chorus directed by Calvin Langejans. In 1967 the Magnachords sponsored the formation of a women’s choir known as the Bel Canto Singers. The two groups merged as the Holland Community Chorale and sang under its founder until 2000. Following the tenures of Gary Bogle (2000-09) and Ryan Kelly (2009-12) as artistic director, the Chorale appointed Meredith Bowen to the position in 2012.

The Chorale debuted at Carnegie Hall with a solo concert on March 28, 2011. Other performance highlights for the ensemble include their European performance tour in 2000, a concert in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, appearances at the Midwestern Conference on School Music, and performances at the state conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and the Music Educators National Conference. Performances have also included collaboration with the Holland, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, West Shore, and other symphony orchestras. They are also at the forefront of educational outreach in West Michigan, regularly facilitating secondary-school choral clinics and co-sponsoring the Nicholas Loren Vocal Competition. The Chorale recognizes that great choral music would not exist without organizations that support living composers. Commissions of the Chorale include those by Alice Parker, Norman Dello Joio, Karel Husa, Danial Pinkham, Cecil Effinger, Stephen Paulus, and Gwyneth Walker.

For over fifty years, our community has supported us through patronage of our concert series, purchase of our recordings, and underwriting of our projects. We are humbled that our community assists our artistic endeavors and are inspired by families, friends, and audiences who provide never-ending encouragement. And we are pleased to give back inspiring, artistic performances of great choral music.