History of the Telluride Choral Society
The Telluride Choral Society was founded in 1995, as a way for community members to share in the joy of singing. It began as an idea penned on the back of a napkin at the Steaming Bean (a beloved coffee emporium in Telluride.) Former Town of Telluride mayor and attorney, John Steel, told singer Andy Knorr, “We need John Yankee and a choral society in this town and you are the one to start it!” At the time, Yankee was in town temporarily as Telluride school district’s Artist-in-Residence. So Knorr called artist/philanthropist Daniel Tucker requesting an start-up grant. He agreed, matching whatever funds Knorr managed to raise. So in short order, Telluride’s newest musical non-profit was launched, and declared its mission:
To enrich the community’s cultural experience by supporting Telluride Choral Society’s singing groups and other vocal music through performances and ongoing music education.
We have been honored with three exceptional Artistic Directors in our 23 year history- all uniquely talented. John Yankee, our first Artistic Director, crafted the idea of a “community chorus” in Telluride. He brought the concept of ‘WinterSing’, as a Holiday musical tradition, to our box canyon town. Yankee also developed the concept of ‘SpringSing’ concerts, and the singer’s weekend camp, ‘SummerSing’.
In 2002, Dr. David Lingle was hired and chartered new paths for us for the next 8 years. He introduced the regal ‘Masterworks’ choral series, as well as ‘KidSing’, designed specifically for the youth in Telluride. The Telluride Choral Society initiated collaborations with the San Juan Symphony, the Durango Choral Society, the Telluride Repertory Theatre Company and Telluride Dance Academy. Our organization has also performed in the “Music In The Mountains” festival in Durango and at Carnegie Hall.
In 2010, Rhonda Muckerman took the helm as Artistic Director. Her energy and approach are the catalyst that will continue the tradition of growth and reinvention that the organization embraces. See her bio: Artistic Director
Each and every director has brought a different style and a new perspective and energy that we have been fortunate to enjoy and whose inspiration has produced lasting benefits. We are thrilled to continually move forward and to “Keep on Singing.”
We are a homegrown, non-profit organization that offers scholarships for singers who can’t afford tuition. TCS’s short-term goals include broadening its base of participants and keeping music fresh, exciting and accessible by offering performances of exceptional choral music.
TCS is largely an all-volunteer organization consisting of more than seventy five singers, ranging in age from 7 to 70+. There are 6 members on our non-profit board of directors, as well as parent volunteers and a range of accompanists. Go to About Choirs for an overview of our choral music groups.
Our deepest goal is to “Keep On Singing!” and to sing well and joyously and share that experience with others.