History of the South Hadley Chorale

The South Hadley Chorale was founded as The South Hadley Community Chorus in 1984 by Barbara H. Conant. Its immediate objective was to celebrate Bach’s 300th anniversary by performing his Mass in B minor. The success of the program encouraged both Dr. Conant and the singers to form a permanent choral group that would perform one concert each year.

Rehearsal with Richard Rescia

In 1990, Richard Rescia became the artistic director/conductor and served in this capacity for five years. During his tenure the name was changed to the South Hadley Chorale to reflect the group’s performance level and expertise. Scott Lamlein served as conductor for one year followed by Michael R. Dulac who served as artistic director and conductor from 1997 to 2005.

Rehearsal with Michaal Dulac, photo by Draper White

Under the baton of Deanna Joseph from 2005-2008, the chorus reached a new level of expertise. The chorale was conducted by Nicholas DeMaison in 2008-2009 and by our interim conductor, Alexandra Ludwig in 2009-2010. Since the fall of 2010, the chorale has flourished under the baton of our outstanding music director, Jonathan Harvey.

Deanna L. Joseph

The chorale has steadily gained in both size and in overall quality of performance. Presently we number over eighty men and woman from throughout the Pioneer Valley. Although thirty-five percent reside in South Hadley, a total of seventeen communities are represented in the chorus. Last year there were several new members and approximately thirty who have sung with the group for ten years or more. The age span of members presently runs from under twenty to over ninety years of age.

We have been most fortunate to have been able to perform at Mount Holyoke College each year, with programs ranging from Bach and Mozart to Rutter and Bernstein. In addition, the chorale presents a Holiday Program in December at Loomis Communities Retirement Village in South Hadley.

Music is heard with the ears, understood with the mind and felt with the heart.