History of the Falmouth Chorale
The Falmouth Chorale began in 1964 when thirteen musicians from several Falmouth churches planned a joint performance of Handel’s Messiah under the leadership of John Gerry-Karajanes, organist Father William C. Campbell and others. Thus was born the Falmouth Interfaith Choir, dedicated “to further the ecumenical movement through music”. The Choir became an integral part of Falmouth’s Christmas/Hanukkah and Easter/Passover seasons. When the choir was eventually incorporated in 1980, an additional purpose was added to the mission statement: “To further the public appreciation of music in Falmouth.” At the same time the Choir broadened its repertoire to include secular works and to add an occasional instrumental ensemble.
From 1964-1991 a dozen choral directors continued the tradition of excellent concerts with rave reviews in community newspapers. In 1991 Frederick Johnson came to the area as the Falmouth High School Music teacher and also became Director of the Falmouth Interfaith Choir. Under his leadership, the Choir developed in strength and ability over the next seventeen years.
To mark its emergence as a community chorale, the group changed its name to the Falmouth Chorale in 2004. The Chorale added a fall concert to its season, as well as orchestral accompaniment for most performances. Additionally, the Chorale began the “Fred Johnson Scholarship” in 2008, awarded annually to a local high school student who is pursuing further music education.
From 2007-2019, the Falmouth Chorale was led by Artistic Director John Yankee, who brought to the community a level of experience and energy and propelled the Chorale forward. Under John’s strong and dedicated leadership, the Chorale achieved greater heights of excellence through implementation of vocal musicianship assessments, music theory classes, and diverse, challenging repertoire. During our 57th and 58th seasons, Dr. Krishan Oberoi led the group through the pandemic year with creative offerings for singers and the community in the form of online classes and lectures, and then guided our emergence back into live perfomances.
Now, in its 60th year of performing choral music for audiences on the Upper Cape, the Chorale is delighted at how this organization has grown with the help of its directors and more than 1,000 singers over the years. Some singers have sung for 30, 50, even 100 concerts!
The Current Chorale
Today the Falmouth Chorale, led by Artistic Director Andrew Jonathan Welch, is composed of about 80 active singers, 15 of whom are members of the Falmouth Chorale Chamber Singers, performing at community and private events. The Chorale is a group of passionate singers who love singing choral music and who want to improve their individual abilities and experience the joy of ensemble singing. Chorale participants are your friends and neighbors, which makes the uplifting concert experiences all the more personal for audiences on the Upper Cape.