Cascade Chorale

Cascade ChoraleTo provide an opportunity for talented vocalists to sing together and prepare a variety of enriching, enjoyable and educational concerts for the community. The Cascade Chorale is a one credit class that meets Tuesday evenings at Central Oregon Community College. They welcome all who enjoy singing in a large, SATB choral group. Each term brings a new repertoire and membership roster. Their Fall, 2017 term began Tuesday, September 19, and concluded with their 13th Annual Holiday Magic, at the Tower Theatre, Saturday and Sunday, December 2 & 3, 2017, a sold-out performance! The Cascade Chorale is a community chorus and is part of the music department at Central Oregon Community College. When the College was founded in 1949, its first president, Dr. Donald Pence, saw to it that the school had a choir from the very start.
For several years it performed on an irregular basis. In 1967 a community chorus that met on a more regular basis was established, and came to be known as the Central Oregon Concert Chorus. They currently have members who’ve sung with the chorus since David Evans was the director, over 50 years ago, as well as members who moved to town just last year. From 1978-1995 the chorus was directed by Forrest Daniel. Under his leadership, in addition to its regular concerts, it gave performances of Handel’s Messiah every other year, took trips to Germany in 1988 and 1992, and a group from the chorus sang at Carnegie Hall in 1993. During those years the chorus hosted threeCascade Chorale different choirs from Europe that were touring the United States, as well as a choir from Canada.
From 1995-2004, Dr. Clyde Thompson was the director of the chorus. During the summer of 1996, the chorus traveled to Alberta, Canada on a concert tour. In 1997, the name of the group was changed to Cascade Chorale, in honor of the Cascade Mountain range that lies just a half-hour from the college. The group toured England in 1998 and Victoria, B.C. in 2000. James W. Knox began as director in 2004. In December, 2005, the Holiday Magic concerts began at the Tower Theatre, featuring the Chorale and benefiting Abilitree and other organizations. Holiday Magic moved to Summit High School for a few years, then returned to the Tower in 2014. Accompanied by a full orchestra, these concerts have become an annual tradition. The group gives three formal concerts each year in December, March and June, performing repertoire from all styles and periods of choral music.
James Knox
James Knox, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Central Oregon Community College, directs the Cascade Chorale, the College Choir and is the founder of vocal jazz ensemble, Central Singers. In addition to teaching music courses, he is also Cascade Choralesought after as a guest clinician locally and throughout the Northwest. Prior to COCC he was the Vocal Jazz Director at Portland State University and the Choral Director at Mt. Hood Community College. Through James’ studies he has had the privilege of working with distinguished conductors and composers from around the world, such as Arvo Pärt, Frieder Bernius, Veljo Tormis, Fred Stoltzfus, Simon Carrington, Joseph Flummerfelt, Morna Edmundson, Yaccov Bergman, Maria Guinand and Vance George.
His involvement and love for music is also displayed as a baritone soloist. James’ work included principal role-Guglielmo in W.A Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutti PSU Opera Production, guest artist at Seattle, Washington’s Opera Banquet, Metropolitan Opera Guild’s regional finalist. He has been featured with Douglas Webster in the Oregon Symphony’s production of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, and Peace Through Music pieces Dona Nobis Pacem by R.V. Williams, Cantata Misericordium by Benjamin Britten, Faure’s Requiem, Portland’s Baroque Ensemble, portrayed Jesus in the premiere of J.S. Bach’s St. Mark’s Passion, principal role-Cascada in The Merry Widow, and Menotti’s one act opera The Telephone, and he was Pooh-Bah in Obsidian Opera’s Production ofDAS The Mikado.
In September, 2014, Jim performed the role of Javert at Bend’s Tower Theatre in Les Misérables. March, 2017, as Schaunard in OperaBend’s La Bohème, with the Chorale as the chorus! In 2014, he taught in London in an exchange program at COCC. In the winter and spring terms of 2018, he was on sabbatical leave in Estonia for the preparation for the annual Song Celebration Festival and teaching at the Conservatory of Vicenza, Italy, and the Miari School of Music in Belluno, Italy.

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