Singing a Jubilant Song with the Arrowhead Chorale

The Arrowhead Chorale hopes northland residents will add a new tradition to their holiday schedule this year. The Holiday Jubilations and Traditions concert is a collaborative effort that includes a vocal performance and opportunities to support the other art-based and community organizations in the Twin Ports.

The Arrowhead Chorale is an auditioned vocal group that was originally formed by Paul Fletcher more than 30 years ago. Since the mid-1990s, Director Stanley Wold, a long-time professor of choral conducting and vocal music education at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, has led the non-profit group. The singers represent a wide cross-section of individuals, many of whom have experience singing at a collegiate level. The array of talents brought forth by new members and returning members have gelled into a cohesive unit for the December performance. Olivia Buncher, a vocalist in the chorale since 2012, balances a day job at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and a position as the group’s business manager.

“Our vision for this concert is a festive, jubilant holiday extravaganza that people will look forward to attending every year,” said Buncher. “The music we have selected represents an array of cultures and will feature numerous guest instrumentalists.”

One of those guest groups they will welcome to share the stage is StrikePoint, Duluth’s bell choir. Local arts guilds will be displaying their wares in the performance hall for the evening for an additional holiday touch. For the Chorale, supporting other community organizations is a meaningful goal.

“We’re always looking for ways to promote the variety of arts opportunities in the Twin Ports,” explained Buncher. “The event will also include an intermission with holiday treats inspired by the cultured represented in our repertoire, hot apple cider, and a cash bar.”

In hopes to support their mission of continuing to bring quality vocal performances to the region, the Chorale is also planning a 50/50 raffle to raise funds and provide a chance for an audience member to win a prize.

The voices of the 28 singers will contribute to a collective sound of holiday carols and anthems titled Medieval Pageantry, From France, From England, and Around the Fireplace. Buncher and the other singers hope that the selection of arrangements will appeal to a wide audience.

“The Chorale will perform beautiful music from a variety of cultures—some familiar, some lesser known, some upbeat, some more reflective,” said Buncher.

For Bret Amundson, director of choral activities at the College of St. Scholastica, the concert represents the spirit of the holidays.

“Featuring the StrikePoint bell choir, Holiday Jubilations and Traditions highlights the mystery and majesty of the holiday season. This concert is sure to welcome our audience members into this magical time of year,” said Amundson.

The concert will be held on Sunday, December 17 at 3 p.m. at the Duluth Depot Great Hall. Tickets can be ordered online or at the door with credit card, cash or check. Adult tickets are $25 and include refreshments. College student tickets are available at a discounted rate and youth 18 and under can attend the performance free of charge. To learn more about Arrowhead Chorale, visit: arrowheadchorale.com.



By Casey Fitchett