WOOSTER, Ohio – The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, directed by Lisa Wong, who is also an associate professor of music and director of chorus at The College of Wooster, was recently honored with The Cleveland Orchestra’s annual Distinguished Service Award on March 5. The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus counts several Wooster alumni among its members each year.
This marks the first time the annual award was given to a group (instead of an individual) for their dedication and commitment as volunteers and for their collective artistic achievements, the Cleveland Orchestra noted in announcing the honor.
“Collectively, the members of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus devote a combined total of up to 30,000 hours in rehearsal and performance each year,” stated André Gremillet, president and CEO of The Cleveland Orchestra in a news release. “Their level of commitment and dedication is matched only by the sheer quality of their artistry as a group. All of us are so very proud and pleased with this incredible group of volunteers, and we look forward to many more great performances in the years ahead.”
Wong, who was appointed director of choruses at The Cleveland Orchestra in 2018, added, “I am delighted that the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus has been named the recipient of the 2019-20 Distinguished Service Award in honor of their extraordinary and ongoing commitment to The Cleveland Orchestra. This award honors not only the tremendous artistry achieved throughout the group’s 68-year history, but also the substantial dedication of this all-volunteer chorus. Their significant commitment is born of a love for this incredible body of music and the indescribable joy that comes in performing with one another and alongside America’s finest orchestra.”
In addition to the number of alumni who are (or have been) part of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, Wooster’s connection also includes current students. Members of the award-winning Wooster Chorus are presented each year with the opportunity to perform in The Cleveland Orchestra holiday concerts.
Since 1952, nearly 3,000 singers have been part of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus. Members are chosen through audition and gather together each season, week in and week out, to prepare and perform the greatest works of the choral-orchestral literature.
PHOTO: Front row (left to right): Claire Mitchell ’06, Victoria Peacock ’17, Lisa Wong, Tremaine Oatman ’72, Ellie (Kleber) Smith ’89, Sarah Gould. Back row (left to right): Matthew Turell ’18, Brian Fancher ’13, Kirsten Jaegersen ’07, Kate Klonowski ’99.