We have a tie this week with winners: Traci Telecky and John Werner. They both emailed us this morning.
The Community Choir is the answer to our 40th week of a feature to celebrate Orofino's 100th birthday and the Bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery trek through Clearwater County. Watch later this week for more information and a photo of the group.
According to a history written in 2000, the Orofino Community Choir was organized in September 1973 and the first practice was in October of that year. It was organized with the support of the newly formed Clearwater Council for the Arts and Humanities. The choir submitted a grant application to the council to help defray costs of music and other expenses.
The first director was Tom Dixon, the high school choral director and Joanne Hutchinson was the piano accompanist. The opening meeting of the organization was held at State Hospital North and the following practices at Orofino High School. They had once weekly rehearsals from October through May.
Three major concerts were prepared and presented to the public during that first year. The first was a Christmas concert "An Evening of Christmas Music" presented Dec. 4, 1973 at the elementary school for approximately 500 audience members. Among those in the choir were: Caryn Abrams, Charing Barton, Mythella Blake, Judy Cuddy, Mary Hill, Carla Laws, Gerri Lemmon, Merle Loseth, Marigay Nelson, Evelyn Olsen, Marion Painter, Helen Parvin, Ardis Pishl, Val Pishl, Cindy Ponozzo, Cate Tidball, Yvone Ziwisky, Dennis Abrams, Brent Flowers, SteveMcGill, John Varvin, Jim Scheurman, Allen Garner, Jim Oud, Ron Ponozzo and Wendell Stakkestad. A few of those original members still are part of the choir.
The second performance was an oratorio, "The Holy City" presented April 7, 1974 with the cooperation of the schools and churches in Clearwater County. Besides the live audience, it was broadcast over KLER Radio.
The third and final concert of that season was May 24 and included the full choir, along with several ensembles and soloists. The Orofino Community Choir was also involved with two exchange program with the Troy Community Choir.
In October 1974, the group changed their name to the Orofino Choraliers and presented a patriotic concert. Over the next several years, the group was busy with practices and a variety of concerts in Orofino and other locations. During this time a dress committee was formed resulting in the "blue dresses" for the choralier women and a children's group was added for some performances.
Jan Holzer, who joined the group in 1977, became the director of the Orofino Community Choir in 1983 and served in that capacity for a little more than a decade. The choir presented their concerts in a variety of churches during that period and the children's choir was a regular feature during Christmas performances.
In 1995, Woody Bausch became the director of the adult choir and the group continued to share their musical talents with the community. Their most recent performance was a Christmas concert at St. Theresa's Catholic Church. In addition to Joann Hutchinson, Barbara English also accompanies the choir.
The choir which was formed from the community shares not only their musical talents, but also donates a portion of the free will offering from their concerts to community projects. The choir is open to all who like to sing and is always actively seeking new members.
Photo: The Orofino Community Choir prepares for a concert in years past.
Monday: They had their beginnings in 1973.
Tuesday: Music is in the air.
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P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544