The Metropolitan Chorale seeks to enrich the lives of its members and the community by mastering and performing excellent choral music. We deliver entertainment and education through eclectic programs which feature familiar classics as well as works of contemporary composers. We unite music lovers, cultivate love for the arts, and above all, have fun by celebrating life through song.
Background of the Chorale
The Metropolitan Chorale, comprised of singers from Iowa's Cedar Valley, annually performs two concerts of major choral works with orchestra and soloists in various Waterloo and Cedar Falls venues. It is an organization of serious amateur and professional vocalists under the direction of a professional director.
Originally known as the Waterloo Choral Association, the group was founded in 1954 as a vehicle for local singers to gather and sing the Messiah. Since that time, the level of musicianship has grown steadily. The Chorale has developed into one of the region's premiere large choral groups, ranging from 75 to more than 100 singers. The Chorale reflects the diversity of the Cedar Valley drawing its membership from all walks of life including doctors, farmers, engineers, factory workers, educators, etc.
Past concerts featured works such as the Vivaldi Gloria, Bach Mass in B Minor, Mozart Requiem, Haydn Creation, Handel Messiah, Dvorak and Rossini Stabat Mater, and Fauré Rutter Requiem, and Carmina Burrana.
History of the Chorale
The Metropolitan Chorale's beginning evolved from an annual presentation of Messiah sponsored by the Waterloo Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. A group of singers from this chorus organized and drew up the Articles of Incorporation, dated 1954, for the Waterloo Choral Association. Members of the original board of directors were Margaret Dravis, Clarice Kendall, John Geary, Virginia Phelps, Betty Mitchell, Edward Johnston, and Horace Dagett. Article II of this document states: "The purpose of this corporation shall be to provide an opportunity for vocalists in Waterloo and surrounding communities to perform varied works of choral literature for themselves and the general public." This purpose statement guides the Chorale today.
The membership is drawn from the communities of Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Waverly, Hudson, La Porte City, Reinbeck, Denver, Dike, Janesville, Readlyn, Independence, Raymond, and Winthrop. Because of the broad base of its membership, the name of the organization was changed to Metropolitan Chorale in 1974. Various professions are represented in its membership.
The Chorale has had fifteen conductors in its 50 years of existence: Mathys Abas, Charles Matheson, John Evenson, David Smalley, Les Hale, Joseph Guinta, Graeme Cowen, Patricia Cahalan, Ronald Ross, Gerald Kreitzer, Sandra Frey Stegman, Paul Torkelson, Weston Noble, Lee Nelson and our current director, Amy Kotsonis.
Originally founded and funded under the auspices of the Waterloo Recreation and Arts Commission, this organization is now fully self-supported and all contributions are fully tax-deductible. The dedicated volunteer membership pays yearly dues, buys their own music, and a volunteer Board of Directors takes care of all concert arrangements. Support also comes through generous contributions of community individuals and businesses. Grants have been received recently from Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, and Guernsey Foundation.