In July 2003 the Normandale Choral Society, founded in 1982, suddenly found itself without a home base, performance venue, director, accompanist or funding due to budget and program cuts at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota.
What could have been the end of Bloomington’s only non-audition mixed adult community chorus, became instead a gift, the opportunity to reinvent and reenergize as the Bloomington Chorale. The city was opening a new Civic Plaza in July of 2003 which included a Center for the Arts. Perfect timing for the newly renamed Bloomington Chorale to join the other seven community arts organizations in this beautiful new venue.
The goal that first year was just to survive. The December 2003 concert boasted fourteen singers and 99 audience members. The concert program consisted of music that could be borrowed from various members’ churches.
Today the Bloomington Chorale has more than sixty members and performs such major works as Bach’s B Minor Mass, Haydn’s Creation and Brahms’ German Requiem, along with a wide array of Baroque, contemporary, Broadway and popular repertoire.
Bloomington Chorale concerts are always accessible to the entire community, through low cost ticket prices, ADA compliant venues and varied repertoire that appeals to a broad spectrum of tastes.
Currently the Chorale’s youngest member is a high school senior and the oldest members are past 80. Members come from all walks of life and income levels. Some members have degrees in music, some have formal voice training, many have no formal training, just the desire to sing and a love of music. Together they are a community of singers who have fun learning and refining vocal technique and repertoire. And they make beautiful music that is enjoyed by the entire community.