You know it's not Christmas until
we sing it in! Our Christmas by Candlelight concert is Dec. 6 ,
so mark that date on your calendar now!
We are an auditioned, community chorus of men's and women's voices. We're celebrating 25 years in Hot Springs Village.
Seeing a need for an energetic, nonprofit choral organization in this area, we formed to meet that need. We've consistently grown since then, all thanks to the helping hands of this amazing community!
The Village Chorale is an auditioned mixed choral ensemble of 35 - 40 voices under the direction of Dr. Thomas Bolton, who has an extensive background as a choral director and is a lifetime music educator. The Chorale is accompanied by Dr. Elsen Portugal, a very accomplished pianist in addition to other keyboard instruments.
Our mission statement is “Connecting Community to the Choral Art." We accomplish this by performing two major concerts a year - Spring and Christmas. In addition we do other concerts during the year including an annual appearance at Christmas with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.
We rehearse 1 time per week during the concert season. We sing music from a number of genres including light classical, religious, Broadway, jazz, and pop.
History of The Village Chorale
Early in the spring of 1997 Pat Hightower and Jay McIntyre, residents of Hot Springs Village, AR discussed the need for an auditioned vocal group in our community. Both women, former choral directors and trained vocalists, desired an opportunity to sing challenging music in an ensemble. Sixteen singers were selected and Dick Fulton was chosen as the director.
The name The Village Chorale was given to the new group. The objective for the Chorale, Mr. Fulton said, was “to achieve a truly classic choral ensemble sound devoted to beautiful singing and always striving for good intonation, balanced sound and clear, understandable diction.”
Between 1997 and 2004 the group grew from 16 to over 30 members. The Chorale evolved to become a high quality vocal group and performed its first concert at the Woodlands Auditorium on December 10, 2009 as guests of the HS/HSV Symphony Guild. The Chorale performed its first independent concert, “Let There be Music” at the Woodlands on May 23, 2003. Dick Fulton retired as the Chorale director after the May 18, 2004 concert.
The newly formed Board of Directors selected Randy Lusk as director in August 2004. The group grew is size during Mr. Lusk’s tenure to the 35 - 40 singers. Mr. Lusk greatly expanded the musical genres performed to the repertoire currently used by The Village Chorale. The Chorale continued to perform to sold-out audiences at the Woodlands with their Spring and Christmas concerts. Mr. Lusk resigned as director in May 2013, and Ellen Nagode was named interim director.
Ellen Nagode was named permanent director in January 2014. During Mrs. Nagode’s tenure the Chorale joined the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra in their annual Christmas concert in the Village. They also performed special Christmas music at Anthony chapel at Woodlands Garven Gardens. Both of these have become annual events. In the Winter of 2014 a group of Chorale singers sang in a special concert at Carnegie Hall at the request of composer Mark Hayes. Mrs. Nagode retired as director of the Chorale in spring 2018.
During the Summer of 2018 Dr. Thomas Bolton was named director of the Village Chorale. Dr. Bolton has raised the Chorale to new heights in terms of quality of sound. In addition our concerts at the Woodlands are now multi-media performances. The Chorale continues to grow musically under Dr. Bolton’s direction.
The Chorale has shared the stage with two well know composers - Mark Hayes in Spring 2013 and Spring 2018. Composer Joseph Martin was a guest conductor at the Spring 2016 concert. In addition we have had a number of guest artists appear with us at every concert.