The mission of the Greater Decatur Chorale is to enhance recreational and cultural arts opportunities in Decatur and share a passion for choral music with our community through performance, education, and public outreach.
The Greater Decatur Chorale has a heritage dating back to 1985 when it performed under the direction of Steve McClarey. Since then, the Chorale has been directed by Jim Collins, Robert Teel, Brian Downen, Robert Hills, Ted Hesse, Christopher Thomas, Jonathan Saeger, Michael Engelhardt, Jason Garrett, Cyndi Johnson and the return of Ted Hesse. The accompanists have included Julie McClarey, Karen Neece and since 2001, Anita Gifford. With ongoing support from WAND 17 and many generous individual donors, the Chorale has continued to delight audiences with their uplifting performances for 31 years!
The Chorale features two events annually, offering a formal performance in January and free concerts in the parks in the spring. Auditions are held in August and January for the winter and spring sessions.
Besides its annual concert schedule, the GDC members share their enthusiasm for song to area shopping centers and businesses, as well as nursing, assisted-living and group homes in an active outreach program. The Greater Decatur Chorale enjoys a variety of venues and a growing local following in the greater Decatur area, remaining a chorus that takes great pride in its musicianship while keeping the word “community” first and foremost in its scope and mission.
Feed the body food and drink, it will survive today. Feed the soul art and music, it will live forever. – Julie Andrews
GDC Conductor, Ted Hesse
Ted is proud to be returning as the conductor of the Greater Decatur Chorale! Ted conducted the Chorale for several years and met his wife, Dr. Kristin Newcome Hesse, when she auditioned for and sang with the Chorale. They were married in 2003 and have two children, Zach (9) and Eliana (7). Ted received his bachelor of music degree in vocal performance from Millikin University and his master’s of music degree in choral conducting from the University of Northern Iowa. He furthered his studies in music at the University of Minnesota. He has been a church musician for over twenty years and taught at the collegiate level for fourteen years. He is active as a clinician, adjudicator, soloist and conductor.