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Press releases  

Chorale statement on resolution of Minnesota Orchestra lockout
January 15, 2014

Hallelujah! The Minnesota Chorale shares the joy of our whole community with music lovers everywhere who are thankful that the long Minnesota Orchestra lockout is finally at an end. We congratulate those who persevered to bring about an agreement. And we are deeply thrilled that we’ll soon be back at Orchestra Hall making music together!

The past 14 months have been among the most challenging in the Chorale’s history. The financial impact has been profound – but our donors, singers, and dedicated fans stepped in, giving generously of their time, treasure, and talent to make sure our voices would continue to be heard. Throughout the crisis, we’ve adhered to our highest values: integrity and respect, resilience and flexibility, and the utmost in artistic achievement.

The hard work of rebuilding lies ahead. We’ll return to Orchestra Hall with concerts in the coming months. In addition to resuming our appearances with the Minnesota Orchestra, we’re determined to expand on the artistic gains of the past year, during which our independently-produced concerts have made us new friends and audiences in new places.

It’s tremendously heartening to see a renewed awareness of the power of the human voice to educate, enrich, unite and inspire. To all who played a role in sustaining us through the last year – singers, friends, donors and fans - we offer our deepest thanks. Hallelujah!

Elizabeth Balay
President, Board of Directors

Chorale statement on Vänskä resignation
October 1, 2013

The singers, staff, and board of the Minnesota Chorale are deeply saddened by the resignation of Maestro Osmo Vänskä as music director of the Minnesota Orchestra. In rehearsals, Vänskä's exacting musical preparation was matched by an easy wit and a warm, collegial approach. In our many performances as the orchestra's principal chorus under his baton, Vänskä continually inspired, stimulated, and encouraged our singers to reach the highest pinnacle of artistic achievement. Our collaborations with Vänskä and the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra represent mountain-top moments in our organization's performing history. In addition to his exceptional musical leadership, Osmo Vänskä was a faithful friend and supporter of the Minnesota Chorale's mission and activities. We will miss him profoundly.

Local choral groups offer artistic support as
Chorale faces ongoing orchestra lockout

September 27, 2013

A choral showcase concert featuring the Chorale, Kantorei, National Lutheran Choir, Oratorio Society of Minnesota, The Singers, and VocalEssence is set for Sunday, October 6, 2013, at 4 pm at Central Lutheran Church, 333 S. 12th St., Minneapolis. The concert will feature snapshot performances of each choir's planned repertoire for the 2013-14 season. All participating choirs are donating their services to support the Chorale, as is Central Lutheran Church.

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Minnesota Chorale statement on temporary cutbacks
May 15, 2013

The Minnesota Chorale’s 40th anniversary season has been a year filled with extraordinary music-making. From our work in Allina memory care facilities to concerts with the new Minnesota Bach Ensemble; from sing-alongs of Mozart and Handel in St. Paul and Minneapolis to our Men in Music mentorship program of high school singers; from performances with the Mankato Symphony commemorating the 150th anniversary of the U.S. - Dakota War to concerts by our Minneapolis Youth Chorus and Voices of Experience choir for elders: we’ve seen some of the most touching and meaningful moments in the Chorale’s history.

Of course, the loss of opportunities to perform with the Minnesota Orchestra due to the lockout has been a tremendous disappointment in such a celebratory year. Galvanized by this challenge, we’ve worked harder than ever to connect with our friends and neighbors. This season has brought a renewed focus on protecting and nurturing the Chorale’s longstanding tradition of choral excellence, and on living out our mission in the community in a spirit of hope and possibility. The outpouring of love and support from generous donors, far surpassing our ambitious fundraising goals, has enabled us to present a vibrant season of concerts, community engagement, and education programs.

But the ongoing lockout at the Minnesota Orchestra, resulting in the loss of virtually all the earned income we’d projected for the season, presents us with an enduring challenge. To prudently manage the Chorale’s financial resources, our board of directors has had to make some very difficult decisions during the past year. And because of the continued uncertainty regarding the resumption of orchestra concerts, the board has now made the hardest decision yet: effective July 1, Chorale staff will see a fifty percent reduction in pay and working hours. These reductions will remain in effect until the Chorale resumes its contracted work with the orchestra. While extremely painful, these reductions are crucial to the Chorale’s survival as an organization.

Despite these difficult decisions, we will continue singing here in the Twin Cities, no matter what. Our concerts this weekend with the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra — Dvorak’s “Te Deum” and Beethoven’s glorious Ninth Symphony — promise to be wonderful performances, and a worthy finale to our 40th anniversary season. Next season, regardless of the status of orchestra negotiations, our independent concerts will continue, as will our grant-supported education and community engagement programs, including the Minneapolis Youth Chorus and its new Prelude choir, the Voices of Experience (offered in partnership with the MacPhail Center for Music), and our award-winning Bridges program.

As we move forward, we ask for your unflagging support. The tremendous successes of this past year would not have been possible without you. A gift, in any amount, will help to sustain the Minnesota Chorale and the mission we all hold dear.

We fervently hope to return to Orchestra Hall this fall for concerts with our friends and colleagues in the Minnesota Orchestra. Meanwhile, we will continue to provide innovative, meaningful and professional choral music to the State of Minnesota, and fulfill our mission to celebrate the human voice and its power to educate, enrich, unite, and inspire.

This community – our home – deserves nothing less.


Bob Peskin
Executive Director

Kathy Saltzman Romey
Artistic Director

Elizabeth Balay
President, Board of Directors

Minnesota Chorale statement regarding Minnesota Orchestra contract negotiations
October 1, 2012

The Minnesota Chorale's performances with the Minnesota Orchestra date to the Chorale's founding in 1972. Since 2004, the Chorale has served as the orchestra's principal chorus. As a fully independent organization with many educational and community-based programs, the Chorale is not a party to the contract negotiations taking place between the management and musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra. Like all those whose lives are profoundly touched by the concert performances of the Minnesota Orchestra, the Chorale fervently hopes for a timely and equitable resolution to management’s contract negotiations with the musicians, so that all of us—singers and instrumentalists alike—can continue to do what we love: make music at the highest level of artistry to enrich the lives of our listeners.

Chorale announces Bridges partnership with Courage Center, Dance Exchange
September, 2011

The Minnesota Chorale announces its 17th annual Bridges program, Join the Dance!, a partnership between the Chorale, the Courage Center, and the Dance Exchange. The partnership will culminate in performances the weekend of Nov. 18-20, 2011.

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Dance Exchange performers

Chorale, MacPhail launch senior choir
July, 2010

The Minnesota Chorale and MacPhail Center for Music announce the formation of Voices of Experience, a chorus of Twin Cities’ seniors, ages 55 and older. A Chorale-MacPhail steering committee has chosen Dr. Mary Kay Geston, an associate professor of music at Northwestern College in St. Paul, as the ensemble’s conductor.

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Mary Kay Geston
Dr. Mary Kay Geston, conductor of Voices of Experience

Principal Ray Aponte honored by MYC
June, 2010

Ray Aponte, principal at Jefferson Community School, was honored by the Minneapolis Youth Chorus for extraordinary service to MYC since its founding in 2007.

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Ray Aponte with Chorale board president Les Bendtsen and MYC conductor Pat Arasim
Principal Ray Aponte, with Chorale board president Les Bendtsen (l) and MYC Founding Conductor Pat Arasim (r).

All in a summer's work: Romey in U.S. and Europe
September, 2006

Chorale Artistic Director is in demand as a guest conductor and chorus master for the prestigious Oregon Bach Festival, a Carnegie Hall performance in January 2007, and the Festival Ensemble Stuttgart's tour of European festivals.

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Chorale named principal chorus of MN Orchestra
September, 2004

The Minnesota Chorale was named the principal chorus of the Minnesota Orchestra, formalizing an artistic relationship that dates to the Chorale's founding in 1972.

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