Chor Anno News


Updated May 22, 2019

Our 2019 program takes shape

This year's (2019) concerts will feature Jake Runestad's choral/instrumental masterpiece, "The Hope of Loving." It's a work of slightly largeer dimensions than we normally perform...about 17 minutes in length and in five movements. We are delighted to have a string quartet consisting of Matt Mandrones, Daryl Hunt, Stephen Meharg, and Tom Walworth accompanying the work.

"Stars," an ethereal sounding choral work based on a poem by Sara Teasdale and written by Latvian composer Eriks Esenvalds, will bring a unique accompaniment. The work features tuned glasses. Wine glasses seem to work best. The effect is cool and "other-worldly."

While we have a set of choral works with lyrics dealing with the night sky, stars, and dazzling light, even these seem to point us in the direction of caring for one another, for hope. The last movement of Runestad's work asks us "What keeps us alive, what allows us to endure? It is the hope of loving, of being loved." So, in 2019, despite the temptation to despair, to worry about our politics, the direction of our government, we find ourselves looking to the music and poetry that points us to upward. We end our concerts with a combination of songs, one from the 70's "Lean on Me" and the other that started gaining its popularity in about 1947, "We Shall Overcome." It says...and we sing..."We can work it me, we shall overcome!"

Joel Karn to return
Chor Anno is pleased to know that Joel Karn, Director of Choral Music at Heritage High School, Vancouver, WA, will be returning to the baritone section for 2019. Joel took a year off to attend to a wedding in his family that took place during Chor Anno's rehearsal/retreat last August.

Nicole Lamartine - Associate Conductor
The group rose to new heights of musicianship and choral performance under the direction of Dr. Nicole Lamartine. She brought a fresh approach to choral tone and reminders of principles of singing that brought tangible results. She is truly a "conductor of electricity" and we're delighted she has consented to become Associate Conductor. Nicole has sung with us for the past few years. If awards were given for the "long-distance traveler" for rehearsals and concerts, Nicole would win each time. She is Director of Choral Activities at the University of Wyoming in Laramie and comes to Vancouver (our "center of operations") three times a year. (You may read more about Nicole HERE and on our Directors page.)

Needless to say, Chor Anno is elated to have her singing with us and taking over more and more of the conducting. We are so fortunate to have this rising "star" of the choral world...and it is part of our group!

But wait, there's more...
Nicole's collegiate choir from the University of Wyoming was invited to participate in the Tolosa Choral Contest in Tolosa, Spain. Here (left) is photo of Nicole on stage at the festival. This event was held early in November, 2017.

She is more and more in demand as a conductor of honor choirs all around the world. As of November 15-20, 2017 she conducted the Alaska All-State Mixed Choir in Anchorage. Last summer, Nicole joined Rod Eichenberger as a presenter at the Montana Summer Institute for choral directors.



*Concert venues for 2018
Our 2018 concerts were held in Milwaukie, Oregon and in Vancouver, Washington. Here's more:

Milwaukie, OR
John Baker, a choral conductor friend of ours invited Chor Anno to perform in his church, The Milwaukie Lutheran Church, at 3810 SE Lake Road, Milwaukie, Oregon on Saturday evening, September 22nd. Although not directly connected , a sacred music reading session, sponsored by Milwaukie Lutheran and the Oregon Chapter of ACDA, will take place earlier in the day.

Vancouver, WA
The concert in Vancouver was in a venue new to Chor Anno, the magnificent Holy Redeemer Catholic Church at 17010 NE 9th St., Vancouver. Holy Redeemer is a relatively few years old and is located just a few blocks east of 162nd Ave. on NE 9th. It's built somewhat in the style or shape of many European churches, essentially a stone or modern concrete construction. It has has lofty spaces and the acoustics hold great promise for a choral group. We are thrilled to be allowed use of this sacred space for our concert and are eager to sing here.


A few of the compliments from our 2017 concerts.

"What a heavenly experience. Thanks for your hard work. I hope you never give it up!" (AL)

"Beautiful, exquisite music this afternoon in Longview! Thank you, Chor Anno." (PB)

"It was a grand concert last night in ever so many ways. I was totally surprised when the music so engaged my inner soul that I felt like tears were going to burst out when the music so affected me in the piece "We Can Mend the Sky." We are truly blessed by your gifts. (BD)

"What exquisite music making!" (PS)

"This was the best choral concert I've ever heard." (FMB)

"Wonderful...made me cry tears of joy!" (TB)

Dozens of "likes" and positive comments popped up on Facebook. We thank you all for taking the time to writex!xxx

Here's a photo of the group taken in 2016. See names and bios of each singer on THIS PAGE.



Chor Anno Board Members

Karen P. Fulmer, Federal Way, WA

Don E. Wiitala, Longview, WA

Twyla V. Brunson, Kent, WA

April Duvic, Vancouver, WA

At large
Janet Reiter, Yacolt, WA
Brian Mitchell, Kelso, WA
Reginald Unterseher, Kennewick, WA

Music Directors
Nicole Lamartine, Laramie, WY
Howard Meharg, Vancouver, WA






"Sometimes the impact of singing seeps into more intimate places in our hearts" - (Ann Long)