Local Singers to Join Apollo Chorus for Peninsula Music Festival August Concert

For the first time in over 30 years, singers from Door County will join with the Peninsula Music Festival (PMF) for a concert. On Saturday, August 15, 2009, 20 local singers from Northern Door County will join with the Apollo Chorus of Chicago to present Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy. The concert, under the baton of Associate Conductor Stephen Alltop, will also include Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Haydn’s Arianna a Naxos. The concert is at 8 pm in the Door Community Auditorium in Fish Creek.

The Apollo Chorus is returning to the festival after a two-year absence. At the artistic meeting for 2009, Maestro Yampolsky suggested the use of local singers to supplement the Apollo Chorus for Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy. Yampolsky thought that the piece would be a wonderful way to begin building a local group of singers for PMF. Though the festival has done choral works in the past, the logistics and rehearsals for using local singers has always been a stumbling block in making this work. With the inclusion of local professional pianist and vocal coach, Judith Jackson as a regular extra with the orchestra, the festival finally had someone who could coordinate singers locally and rehearse them.

With Jackson on board as the local choral coordinator and rehearsal conductor, PMF knew the time was right for this step. Jackson worked with PMF Executive Director Sharon Grutzmacher to coordinate a list of local singers to start.

“It is always tough,” commented Grutzmacher. “There are so many talented singers in Door County and we only have room for 20. It is also a long and difficult rehearsal process since the Choral Fantasy is sung in German. Singers have to commit to all rehearsals that cover many months and practice on their own.”

The local singers who have made the commitment and will be singing with the PMF Orchestra include:

Sopranos – Challoner Brown, Sharon Cobb, Barbara Gould, Carolyn Hitzeman, Marilyn Potts;

Altos – Kathy Hansen, Judy Paulson, Mary Perdue, Carol Soper, Carol Weber;

Tenors – Peter Clausson, George Cobb, Carl Jackson, Marc Paulson, John Skogsbakken; and

Basses – Dick Daniels, Paul Hansen, Irv Hitzeman, Bruce McKeefry, Gordon Rowley.

Tickets for the August 15 concert range from $30 to $61 for reserved seating and can be purchased by calling the Peninsula Music Festival’s office at 920.854.4060. For more information visit