About the West Valley Chorale
The West Valley Chorale is celebrating its 35th season of providing outstanding choral music to the area. A vibrant community vocal group, the Chorale has been in existence in the Sun Cities area since 1983. It was first formed under the direction of the late H. Ward Bedford as the Sun Cities Symphonic Chorus, an adjunct to the Sun Cities Symphony Orchestra Association. The chorus became an independent entity in 1989.
The Chorale continued to perform two or more concerts each year on its own and frequently appeared as guest artist with the Symphony. Past performances with the Symphony include Beethoven’s Ninth (Choral) Symphony, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, several Christmas concerts and selected opera choruses.
Our 2015-16 season was hugely successful with record audiences at both our December and April performances. In April we took out our most ambitious effort yet with a performance of Verdi’s Requiem. The performance included wonderful soloists from Arizona Opera. We also partnered with the Grand Canyon University Chorus and a symphony orchestra for a joint performance at Phoenix Symphony Hall. A smaller ensemble performed portions of the Requiem at the March Sun City Grand Music Club “Classical, Classic and Art” event. The music club donated the proceeds (over $1,500) to the West Valley Chorale and was our prime sponsor for the Sun City and Sun City West performances.
Other recent highlights include performances with the orchestra for the Brahms Requiem and Haydn’s Creation. In addition, the Chorale has commissioned three large compositions and has had the privilege of performing the premieres of these works for their West Valley audiences. In 2007, they presented Three Nocturnes for Chorus and Percussion Ensemble by Dan Forrest. In 2012, the Chorale performed Craig Bohmler’s Legacy, receiving rave reviews. In the spring of 2014, they returned to Mr. Bohmler, performing his Songs of Steel.
Today, 35 years after its inception, the Chorale consists of 70 talented singers from the West Valley, many with extensive vocal training and choral experience. Many members have also been teachers and professors of music during their varied careers. Some still work in that capacity. Chorale members provide beautiful and elegant choral experiences for the enjoyment of their audiences. All share a love of music and a delight in being part of the musical instrument that is a “well-tuned chorus”!
With artistic director Ken Goodenberger bringing vast experience in choral directing and vocal coaching skills to the group, the Chorale looks forward to reaching even greater heights in the coming season and years ahead.