Colorado College Tour Choir Presents Golden Anniversary Concert - Colorado College

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For Immediate Release

Leslie Weddell
(719) 389-6038



Members come from around the country to riff, reminisce, rehearse

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – May 16, 2011 – For 10 years, beginning in 1961, CC Music Professor Don Jenkins led the Colorado College choir on an annual spring concert tour.

On Sunday, May 22, 50 years after the choir was founded, nearly 70 of the original 254 tour choir singers, joined by about a dozen family members and close friends, will hold a golden anniversary reunion concert at 4:30 p.m. in Packard Hall, 5 W. Cache la Poudre St. The concert is free and open to the public.

The golden anniversary concert is the capstone of the choir’s fifth reunion weekend, which begins with a music read-through on Friday afternoon, continues with hours of rehearsal, reminiscing and refreshments, and ends Sunday evening with the concert.

The original choir members were an eclectic group, with less than 20 percent being music majors. As one participant, John Chalik ’67 said, “For most, the chief attraction was Don Jenkins, the young, self-assured, dynamic guy who created and led the Colorado College choir. Once you experienced the thrill of singing with Don, you were hooked.”

Jenkins scheduled auditions the first week of fall semester and rehearsals were underway by mid-September. Each year a different region of the country was selected and, over the years, the choir sang to critical acclaim in churches and concert halls from Los Angeles to New York, Minneapolis to Dallas.

Once a region was selected, a group of choir members would gather at Jenkins’s home for “typing parties,” in which hundreds of letters were individually typed and addressed to churches in that region, informing them that “The CC Choir will perform great music in your sanctuary, in exchange for an evening meal, lodging in your homes and a modest honorarium.” Thus, the actual itinerary for each tour was determined by the random affirmative responses from churches.

Music selected by Jenkins for the May 22 concert includes motets by William Byrd and Johannes Brahms, W. A. Mozart’s “Gloria in Excelsis,” American songs by Aaron Copland and favorite Colorado College songs from the 1960’s.  Coincidentally, the Mozart “Gloria” was presented at Colorado College’s opening convocation in September 1960, Jenkins’s first appearance as the college’s new choir director.

More than 30 CC alumni from the area will be participating in the concert, while other members of the reunion choir, including CC trustees Chalik, Chad Milton ’69 and Karen Rechnitzer Pope ’70, will travel from all over the United States to present the concert.

For information, directions or disability accommodation at the event, members of the public may call (719) 389-6607.

About Colorado College
Colorado College is a nationally prominent, four-year liberal arts college that was founded in Colorado Springs in 1874. The college operates on the innovative Block Plan, in which its 2,025 undergraduate students study one course at a time in intensive 3½-week segments. The college also offers a master of arts in teaching degree. For more information, visit <>.