History of the Clearlakes Chorale


In 1982, a community chorus was formed in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire by three area residents.   Their intent was to attract people interested in performing serious choral music. The following Fall, the group was named Clearlakes Chorale and membership began to grow. In the ensuing years, a tradition of widely varied music, both sacred and secular, was established, and membership rose steadily. The chorale became incorporated in 1984, and tax–exempt status was established.  

Christmas of 1984 marked the chorale's first well–paid public performance at the opening of the Mill Falls Marketplace in Meredith. That year also marked the chorale's debut performance with the popular First Night NH in Concord. In the Winter of 1985, the group performed its first true Christmas concert at the First Congregational Church in Wolfeboro.

In 1991 the Clearlakes Chorale was selected to participate with 14 other, auditioned choral groups, in a nationally distributed recording of patriotic songs for Cornerstone Achievements, entitled "Sounds of America". By this time, the chorale was regularly performing several formal concerts per season. It was decided in 1991 to charge admission for the first time, to help offset the expense of purchasing music. This seemed only to enhance the desirability of the occasion and attendance rose.

Over its lifetime, the chorale has enjoyed the superb direction of a number of masters: Ted Hewitt, Virgil Griffin, Susan Long, Don Gedney, Scott Lounsbury and Andy Campbell. Likewise, the group has been fortunate in attracting skilled accompanists: Betty Hewitt, Kathy Pinkham, Lloyd Gonyea, Nancy Stephenson, Cathy Marker, Dianna Kirkpatrick, and Nancy DuCette Farris. Through the years, many dedicated members have served in such roles as officer, concert manager, historian, librarian and party host.

The Clearlakes Chorale has sung in many different towns throughout New Hampshire. We regularly perform several major concerts each year, as well as sing at community events, such as the Fourth of July concert in Cate Park, Festival of Trees at the Wright Museum, and at First Night Wolfeboro as well as Concord. Steadily increasing audience size attests to the chorale's growing popularity. The Clearlakes Chorale welcomes newcomers to its ranks and looks forward to continued growth in its production of excellent and enjoyable programs for the community that supports it.

If you are interested in joining the chorale, new members are accepted at the beginning of each "semester". The chorale has a Fall season that culminates in the holiday concerts in December, as well as a Spring season beginning in early January that lasts through the Spring concerts in May. The programs range from popular secular music to more challenging sacred and period pieces. All levels of musical experience are welcomed.

Because the chorale is a nonprofit organization, the businesses and individuals who sponsor the group through their donations and advertising in our program are especially important. Without this financial support, the chorale would not be able to provide this type of service to the surrounding communities. Please take the time to let these people know that you appreciate their support. If you would like to make a donation to the chorale, please click here.