About The Minnesota Valley Men's Chorale
The Minnesota Valley Men's Chorale honors the tradition of performing men's choral music that centers around a community that sings together. We introduce audiences to the power and beauty of men's repertoire. We believe in the performance of creative and challenging music that entertains, inspires, and affirms with a spirit of friendship and hope.
History of The Chorale
The Minnesota Valley Men’s Chorale was organized in September of 2003. Steven Boehlke retired from Rosemount High School after 36 years as a public school choral director. The men’s chorale was a dream of Boehlke’s, along with several influential charter members. The chorale is a non-auditioned ensemble dedicated to singing together as a community and sharing the male chorus repertoire with the community.
The chorale has a unique rehearsal schedule. We have a two concert season, fall and spring. Rehearsals begin approximately twelve weeks before the concerts. Traditionally, the fall concert is two weeks before Thanksgiving. The chorale then breaks for the holiday season. Rehearsals begin again the third week in January with concerts approximately 12 weeks later. The choral has found that many men want to sing, but are involved in careers that won’t allow them to sing with ensembles that meet for nine months.
MVMC’s first concert was November 15, 2003 at Grace Lutheran Church, where Steve is the choir director. There were 32 singers at that first concert. The opening selection was “Let All Men Sing” by Keith Christopher. The following 17 singers are charter members of MVMC and still singing in the ensemble: Mark Ahlquist, John Anker, Mike Atherton, Mike Champ, John Connolly, Andy Cossette, Darryl Dille, Jeff Duncan, Mike Dvorak, Jerry Ewing, Lucas Ingles, Kris James Kulsrud, Garret Pratt, Tom Rysavy, Randy Schafer, Bill Stephenson, and Pete Tyma.
In the spring of 2005, the chorale began the tradition of presenting their concerts on two consecutive evenings. In the spring of 2007, The Minnesota Valley Men’s Chorale began inviting area high school men’s ensembles to be part of the concerts. This provided those high school men’s ensembles with one more opportunity to sing together and it provided MVMC to sing with high school singers and to share that life-long adventure of singing. In the fall of 2009, the Minnesota Valley Men’s Chorale invited established operatic artist Mary Wilson to be their guest. Mary performed a short recital and then soloed with the chorale.
In April of 2011, we organized a high school choral festival for men. The first festival chorus, of nearly 80 voices, gathered in the morning for a massed rehearsal. That evening we performed as an honor choir and then sang with the Minnesota Valley Men’s Chorale. In the fall of 2012, the Minnesota Valley Women’s Chorale was organized. Since that time, the two ensembles have shared the concert stage as two distinct organizations. This addition has allowed the ensembles to perform one or two SATB selections at each concert.
The Minnesota Valley Men’s Chorale celebrated our 10th anniversary in the fall of 2012. That fall, we commissioned David Dickau, Director of Choral Activities at Minnesota State University, Mankato to compose “The Road Not Taken”, text by Robert Frost. This year, 2013-14, Jason Hansen, a graduate of Eagan High School and the University of Minnesota composed “Look To This Day”. In addition to commissions, the Minnesota Valley Men’s Chorale awards two scholarships to graduating male singers to continue singing while attending college. The chorale wants to encourage that singing is a life-long activity
The 2013-2014 Minnesota Valley Men's Chorale
Jeffrey Bruce Duncan