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How it all started…
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).