History of the STA/NCS Chorale

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  • Today's Chorale is the 21st Century manifestation of the oldest coed activity between NCS and St. Albans.

  • The Chorale is the largest coed organization at the Cathedral Schools (162 singers as of September 2009)

  • The origins of the Chorale were the NCS Glee Club and the St. Albans Glee Club

  • The Chorale became the name of the combined Glee Clubs about 25 years ago

  • Richard Wayne Dirksen directed the Glee Clubs for over twenty years

  • Canon Dirksen and his wife wrote musical plays for the Glee Clubs in the 1950's, performed in Whitby Center and reviewed in The Washington Post

  • Canon Dirksen was associated with music at the schools for over half a century (as Assistant Organist and Choirmaster at the Cathedral, as Director of Music. as Canon Precentor, and, of course, as the director of the Glee Clubs)

  • Richard Roeckelein became the first full-time Upper School music director at NCS and St. Albans in the late 1960's

  • Mr. Roeckelein directed the Glee Clubs, then the Chorale, for 29 years. and chaired the Music Department

  • Mr. Roeckelein was the first faculty director of the Madrigal Singers (previously a student-led club), and took the singers on tour coast to coast and to England, and to the White House and other prestigious Washington venues

  • Bruce Neswick became Mr. Roeckelein's successor in 1997, on his retirement, as Chair of the Coordinate Music Department, conductor of the Chorale and Madrigal Singers, and organist for both schools

  • Mr. Neswick also became the founding conductor of the Cathedral Girl Choristers

  • Mr. Hutto joined the NCS-St. Albans faculty in 1999 as Director of Choral Activities

  • The Chorale made its first Spring Break tour in March 2000 (previously tours were for Madrigal Singers)

  • Mr. Neswick left in 2001 and Mr. Hutto became head of the newly-combined Coordinate Performing Arts Department

  • The Chorale and Madrigal Singers recorded their first two compact discs in Spring 2003

  • The first Chorale-Mads international tour was to Australia in 2004; the second, to South Africa in 2008

  • Mr. Bowers joined the music staff in 2006; Mr. Lodico, in 2008

St. Albans School, Mount St. Alban, Washington, DC 20016, 202-537-6435