A Brief History of The Estes Park Chorale

In 1970, Jo Waddell organized the Estes Park Madrigal Singers, a sixteen voice choir which for a period of time was affiliated with the Fine Arts Guild of the Rockies.  As the Madrigal Singers grew, the name was eventually changed to The Estes Park Chorale.  Rehearsals always occurred on Wednesday evenings and were first held at what is now the Old Church Shops in downtown Estes Park.  Rehearsals were eventually moved to the Community Church of the Rockies, where they remain today. 

Jo Waddell served as the Artistic Director for 30 years.  Claudia Irwin became the  Artistic Director in 2000 and directed the Chorale until 2012 when she retired.  Richard Dixon replaced Claudia as the Artistic Director until his retirement in 2016.  Denise Stookesberry became the Artistic Director in 2016 and currently holds the position.

Some of the major works performed by the Estes Park Chorale during its first 30 years include:

  • Amahl and the Night Visitor by Gian Carlo Menotti
  • Brother Heinrich's Christmas by John Rutter
  • Cantata No. 4 by J.S. Bach
  • Liebeslieder Waltzes by Johannes Brahm
  • Mass in G by Franz Schubert
  • Requiems by Maurice Durufle, Gabriel Faure, and John Rutter
  • Mass in Eb by Amy Beach

The Estes Park Chorale will celebrate 50 years of serving the Estes Park community in 2020.