In 1971 on Bainbridge Island, population 11,284, a group of music lovers gathered in the home of Gloria and Lou Goller to discuss forming a choral singing group. They recruited singers and an accompanist, and on Sunday, December 12, 1971, in the Bainbridge High School LGI Room, David Pence directed the first performance of the Bainbridge Chorale. The work performed was Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria.
In the subsequent 47 years, the Island’s population has grown to 24,000, and the Chorale has grown along with it. We are proud to be a part of this organization, which has brought to our community all forms of music – classical, jazz, spirituals, show tunes, folk songs – in an ever-growing repertoire that includes choral masterworks as well as the music of local composers. Many other groups have joined with us in concert over the years, including our Bainbridge school choirs, the Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra, the Northwest Symphony Orchestra, Choral Arts Northwest, and the Cascadian Chorale, as well as string quartets, brass chorales, jazz ensembles, organists, pianists, percussionists, banjo pickers, and guitarists.
The Chorale would like to salute the people and organizations that have helped us flourish.
There is the first Board of Trustees, composed of Norma Edens, Jody Ellsworth, Gloria Goller, Sally Nelson, Steve Olmstead, David Pence, Dennis South, Ric Thomas, Maxine Wright, and Virginia Wybel.
There are our talented accompanists, including Louise Bennett, Corinne Berg, Arni Blomquist, Chris Christensen, Jan Droge, Betsy Dunlap, Norma Edens, Bonnie Fjellde, Robin Hunt, Diane Johnston, Chris Kolbegger, Laura Kornelis, Erica Pence, Mary Pence, Bill Pelandini, Anne Pell, Chris Smellow, Evie Stege, Laura Milleson and Laetitia Lehman-Pearsall.
Many great music directors have brought us where we are today through their dedication:
David Pence, Chorale & Orchestra, 1971-1981
Dr Wayne S. Hertz, Interim Chorale, 1981
Roger Nelson, Chorale & Orchestra, 1981-1982
Norma Edens, Chorale, 1982-1997
Paul Roy, Chorale, 1992
Mark Adrian, Chorale & Orchestra, 1993, Spring 2010
Kathleen MacFerran, Chorale & Orchestra,1994, Spring 1996 and 1998
Steven M. Williams, Chorale, Fall 1997
Ginelle Todd, Chorale, 1998
Frank Trujillo, Chorale, Fall 2004
Anthony Spain, Chorale,1999 to 2009
Mark Adrian, Chorale, Summer 1998 and Spring 2010
Anne Pell, Chorale, Summer 2010
Michael Austin Miller, Chorale, Fall 2010 to present
Many local churches, most notably Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church, deserve our thanks for graciously hosting our rehearsals and concerts innumerable times over the years. In our collaborations with large orchestras, such as our performances of Carmina Burana and the Verdi Requiem, we’ve been fortunate to have access to larger venues, such as the Bainbridge High School Gym and even Benaroya Hall in Seattle.
We look forward to the day that there will be a performing hall on the Island designed to accommodate our space and acoustical requirements, as well as the needs of the many other music organizations in our community. Until then, we will continue to be grateful for the many facilities that have welcomed us:
Bainbridge High School Commons, Gym and LGI
Bainbridge Performing Arts Theater
Bethany Lutheran Church
Christ Memorial Church
Commodore Bainbridge Middle School
Grace Episcopal Church
Highline Performing Arts Center
Liberty Bay Presbyterian Church
North Kitsap Community Center
Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church
St Barnabas Parish Hall
St Cecilia Catholic Church
St Charles Episcopal Church
Woodward Middle School
The Bainbridge Chorale you enjoy today has been built by over one thousand singers and musicians who have not only performed but generously shared their management talents, time, organizational abilities, and creative visions to the Chorale and this community. It is this tradition of dedication and excellence that guides the Bainbridge Chorale as it continues to grow. By striving to create the best possible musical experience for our members and our audience, we know we are also honoring that small group who met in 1971 and decided to start a Chorale simply because they wanted to sing.