On November 12, 1990, a steering committee met with Dr. Marilyn S. Jones to discuss her dream of forming a new choir for singers in Livingston County, with general goals of serving the musical needs of local singers interested in high quality choral music and enriching the lives of county residents. Plans were made to determine the level of interest by having a “get-acquainted rehearsal” on March 25, 1991. The appearance of over 100 enthusiastic singers indicated the need for some further action. Voice placement interviews were set for April, taking place in Brighton, Hartland, Howell, and Pinckney. A total of 102 singers vied for positions in the group, and over 50 were invited to participate in what was to become the Livingston County Chorale.Many members of the community gave invaluable time, ideas, publicity, and organizational skills to set up a viable enterprise including a Board of Directors, by-laws, budget, incorporation, and tax exempt status. The Board, led by president Earl Downing, met regularly to prepare for the Chorale’s initial season. Chorale founder Dr. Marilyn S. Jones was appointed as the first Artistic Director.
Dr. Marilyn S. Jones, Founding Artistic Director Emerita of the LCC, graduated from Wayne State University, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education with a double major in vocal and instrumental music. She was granted a Master of Arts in Humanities in 1969, and earned a Ph.D. in Music: Music Education in 1979 from the University of Michigan. Dr. Jones taught music in the public schools of Brighton and Detroit at all grade levels. She has recived numerous honors including being named “Educator Emerita” in 1997 by the Michigan School Vocal Music Association, and the prestigious Maynard Klein Award “in recognition of artistic excellence and a lifetime of leadership in the field of choral music.”
After retiring from over thirty years of music teaching, Dr. Jones founded the Livingston County Chorale in 1991. In May of 2008, Chorale singers, past and present, joined in a final tribute concert to Dr. Jones, “Our Favorite Things.” She said on that occasion: “The LCC has exceeded all my expectations, and I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished in the community. We’ve given so much pleasure to the audiences over the years, and also to so many singers who’ve been thrilled by the experience of singing great music with others who love to sing. I wish for continued success and joy for all the members of the Chorale Family, and thank them for the years of musical excitement and satisfaction they have given me.” In April of 2009, the Chorale presented Dr. Jones with a plaque recognizing her as Artistic Director Emerita.
The LCC choirs perform regularly in the county, and the individual choirs have also enjoyed collaborations with such groups as the Ann Arbor Summer Symphony (1993), the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (1994, 2005), Measure for Measure (2004, 2008, 2016), U of M Women’s Glee Club (2002), the Carillon Women’s Chorale (2010), the Premier Big Band (2011), and the Livingston Symphony Orchestra (2009, 2012, 2017).
- 1991 Get-acquainted rehearsal with over 100 singers. Fifty singers were invited to participate in the newly-formed Livingston County Chorale; First Christmas concerts in Livingston County; Memorial Donation program established
- 1992 Christmas concert (which thereafter became an annual event featuring all Chorale Family choirs); Spring concert
- 1993 Performed with Ann Arbor Summer Symphony; Sponsored first Church Music Symposium;
Performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; Received Livingston Arts Council Award (also 1996)
- 1994-95 Combined concert with Windsor Classic Chorale; Sang with Detroit Symphony and soloist, Kathie Lee Gifford; Spring Concert with Livingston County Concert Band, Brighton and Howell High School Choirs
- 1996 Chorale Ensemble selected from Chorale membership and directed by Patti Marshall-Doane; Performances with Detroit Symphony/Neemi Jarvi; Cabaret concert “Broadway Comes to Brighton;”
- 1997 Spring concert with guest conductor Brazeal Dennard, joined by Hartland and Pinckney High School Choirs; Established vocal scholarship competition
- 1998 Formed Women’s Chorus, Patti Marshall-Doane, Director; Cabaret Concert “Come to the Cabaret”
- 1999 “Double Celebration” with Southfield Madrigal Chorale
- 2000 Cabaret Concert” 100 Years of Broadway”
- 2001 Tenth Anniversary Concert “A Choral Fantasy;” Women’s Chorus concert and auction;
Children’s Choir formed, Elizabeth Patterson, Director
- 2002 Kelli Falls named Director of Children’s Choir; “Ladies First” selected from Women’s Chorus;
Women’s Chorus performs with U of M Women’s Glee Club; Cabaret Concert “Cabaret Americana”
- 2003 Chorale Collage at Brighton Center for Performing Arts; Chorale partners with Midland Camerata for two concerts; Women’s Chorus spring concert, “Our Favorite Things”
- 2004 Women’s Chorus and Measure for Measure collaboration concert; Children’s Choir with Battle Creek Children’s Choir; Chorale Cabaret Concert “Music from the Movies”
- 2005 Women’s Chorus presented its first Musical Revue; Women’s Chorus and Measure for Measure performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra
- 2006 The Chorale collaborated with the Carolyn Mawby Choir in joint concerts; Women’s Chorus performed benefit concert with Measure for Measure; Allison Laibly and Jan Clay named Co-Directors of the Children’s Choir
- 2007 The Chorale and Children’s Choir performed “Carmina Burana” with percussion and duo-piano accompaniment, soloists and community singers
- 2008 Chorale collaborative concerts with the Steiner Chorale of Lansing; Women’s Chorus celebrates its 10th Anniversary in concert with the Chorale, Children’s Choir, Measure for Measure and the Brighton High School Bel Canto; Farewell concert for Dr. Marilyn S. Jones; Reed Criddle named new Director of the Chorale
- 2009 Chorale partnered with the Livingston Symphony Orchestra for Sounds of Livingston concert; Chorale family collaboration with U of M Life Sciences Orchestra for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; Children’s Choir held Folk Dance fundraiser; Chorale Ensemble renamed ‘Encore;” Carrie Jernigan named Co-Director of the Children’s Choir. Dr. Marilyn Jones retired as Director of the Chorale.
- 2010 Women’s Chorus collaborated with Carillon Women’s Chorale for two concerts; Children’s Choir renamed Youth Choir; Kelli Falls named Director of the Chorale
- 2011 Youth Choir partners with Brighton Community Education; Chorale collaborates with Premier Big Band
- 2012 Women’s Chorus and women of the Chorale collaborate with Measure for Measure and Carillon Women’s Chorale in singing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra and the Chorale Family established a collaborative concert in the fall with area high school choirs to promote singing as a lifetime passion.
- 2013 United in Song concert in October featuring all LCC choirs and Brighton, Howell and Hartland choirs.
- 2014 Patti Marshall-Doane retired in May as LCWC Director and Karen Roberts was hired to lead the Women’s Chorus. Performance with the The Steiner Chorale
- 2016 Concert with the Ann Arbor Symphony
- 2017 Commissioned choral work from Jed Scott for 25th Anniversary concert 2017. Concert with the Michigan Philharmonic Orchestra
- 2018 Chorale Summer trip to Europe
- 2019 Women’s Chorus performs Mozart’s Requiem with the Ann Arbor Symphony.