Voices of the Valley History
Formerly the Alumni Chorale of Lebanon Valley College
Though the Alumni Chorale of Lebanon Valley College performed its initial season in 1978-79, the idea of forming such a unique organization began as many as seven years prior to its actual founding. That idea found its origin in two former members of the college’s Concert Choir, Ronald Poorman (’69) and Thomas Hostetter (’70), who were eager to continue singing literature similar to their Concert Choir experience under Dr. Pierce Getz. For seven years, Ron and Tom attended the post-tour campus concert of the Concert Choir, following which they attempted with regularity to persuade Dr. Getz to organize a similar organization for Concert Choir Alumni.
Each year the request was heard with appreciation, but due to time constraints was rejected. However, the seventh year proved the charm and in the summer of ’78 saw the establishment of the Alumni Chorale and with it over a quarter century of excellent musical performance for the Central Pennsylvania area.
In 2003-04 the Chorale celebrated its 25th anniversary with the commissioning of a piece of music entitled “The Ninety-Sixth Psalm” written by composer Stephen Paulus to honor both the choir and its founding director.
Over the years the Chorale has been invited to perform in Alice Tully Hall in New York City, for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association conference, the Central Pennsylvania Choral Festival, and the National Cathedral, not to mention several performances with the Harrisburg Symphony in presentations of Orff’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Symphony No.9, Mozart’s Requiem, and Dona Nobis Pacem by Ralph Vaughn Williams.
The Chorale has produced two CDs: Chorale Gems of J.S. Bach and A Child My Choice, a collection of Christmas favorites performed by the Chorale through the years. Both have been received with enthusiasm by lay persons and musicians alike and have been featured on Mr. Loran Fevens’ program, “The Music Box” which has aired over WITF every Sunday evening for years.
Mr. Fevens became such a fan of the Chorale that he agreed to come to Pennsylvania from his native Nova Scotia to assist the group in a full performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “All Night Vigil” in April of 2006. In that program he narrated a specially prepared commentary. Of that series Mr. Fevens has said, “The Alumni Chorale is one of the finest choral groups I have had the pleasure to work with and it is an honor for me to be able to perform this work with them.” So moved was Mr. Fevens that, although his radio program only ever featured music written prior to 1800, he made an exception and aired the entire recording on his program despite it having been composed in 1915.
With the untimely passing of its long-time director, Dr. Getz, in 2007, the Chorale sought to continue the work that he had begun and which was his wish. After an extensive search Gregg Mauroni became the director of the organization and has continued the tradition of providing fine music for the Central Pennsylvania community.