If you take a walk through the halls of the Forum Building on a Tuesday evening between 7 and 10 p.m. you might find yourself pausing a moment and listening to the beautiful melodies echoing through the halls. These beautiful sounds are coming from The Schoolcraft Collegiate Chorale which holds its practices weekly Tuesday nights throughout the semester.
The Collegiate Chorale is a vocal musical ensemble that performs both orchestral movements from centuries past and classics from the likes of Toto and Bob Dylan. The chorale is the oldest musical organization at Schoolcraft, dating back to the formation of the college in 1961.
“The current ensemble, has been in existence for 12 and half years since my arrival at Schoolcraft College,” said chorale director and Schoolcraft professor Dr. Jonathan Drake. The Collegiate Chorale was organized by Dr. Drake as a “town and gown” ensemble, allowing for students and community members to rehearse and perform in one group Tuesday nights from 7 to 9:54 p.m. in room 310 of the Forum Building.
The Collegiate Chorale performs at a wide variety of choral concerts, both on campus and in the community. Members sing a wide variety of musical genres such as classical compositions from Palestrina to rock and contemporary pop by commercial composers such as Sting, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Toto. The chorale participates in two concerts per semester the “Sounds of Autumn” and “Sounds of the Season” concert during fall semester and the annual music department “Collage Concert” and “Fuze the Muze” Concert (featuring the chorale) during the winter semester. The chorale typically invites a guest choir to join them in the “Fuze the Muze” Concert.
The Collegiate Chorale is always looking for qualified singers who are students or community members. All prospective members will go through a short audition with Dr. Drake in order to determine their experience, ability and commitment level. When it comes to being part of the Chorale, the more experienced the better.
In terms of commitment, each member of the chorale must be willing to spend 2.5 hours or more, one Tuesday night per week during the semester for rehearsal and then six hours a semester, usually on a Saturday or Sunday to perform in a concert (Three hours per concert performance).
If a student is passionate about choral art and to the chorale itself, Dr. Drake suggests they would be inclined to also look at their music outside rehearsal and practice or do some score study. The amount of time a member would spend on these last activities would depend on “how committed” the mission of the chorale and its goals.
The Collegiate Chorale represents a heritage of musical excellence here at Schoolcraft and those students or community members interested in joining are encouraged to contact Dr. Drake at [email protected]