Dedicated to performing the world’s rich diversity of choral music and supporting the musical arts and artists on Cape Cod.
For several years prior to the 1971-1972 concert season, singers from Chatham and other area churches joined together under the direction of Chatham physician Dr. E. Robert Harned to perform Christmas concerts. For the 1971 Christmas concert the combined group of singers called themselves “The Chatham Chorale”. The Chorale held its first business meeting on January 17, 1972 and in addition to members dealing with other organizational issues Marjorie (Jerry) Bennet, a graduate of Boston University’s College of Music, and Dr. E. Robert Harned were appointed Directors. The Chatham Chorale as a permanent organization was formally introduced to Cape Cod audiences at a July 2nd concert in the Chatham Methodist Church. In August Dr. Harned resigned as a director and Marjorie Bennett (later Marjorie Bennett Morley) became the sole Director of the Chorale and served in that capacity for the following 17 years, during which time membership grew to over 100 singers coming from towns across Cape Cod.
In 1976 the Chatham Chorale Chamber Singers, a smaller chorus composed of approximately 25 voices selected from the larger Chorale, was created to perform music written for smaller ensembles in more intimate spaces.
In 1977, the Chorale became incorporated as a Massachusetts non-profit charitable organization and received Federal tax exempt status in 1980.
Margaret Bossi joined the Chorale in 1985 and became Director when Jerry retired at the end of 1987. Maggie graduated from Smith College and did graduate studies in music at Brandeis University. The Board of Directors granted Maggie Music Director Emerita status upon her retirement at the end of the 2009-2010 concert season, honoring her for 25 years of service to the Chorale, 23 as Music Director.
Joseph Marchio became Music Director of the Chorale in 2010. Joe is a graduate of the College of Wooster, where he earned both a Bachelor’s degree in organ performance and a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies. He earned a Master of Divinity degree at the Yale University Institute of Sacred Music, and a Master of Music degree in choral conducting at the Boston Conservatory. He is also the Pastor and Director of Music of the First Congregational Church of Chatham.
In 1986 Donald Enos, a native Cape Codder with a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, became the Chorale’s accompanist, replacing Olive Cahoon the Chorale’s original accompanist. Donald is the organist at the South Dennis Congregational Church and director of the Meeting House Chamber Music Festival, which he founded in 1974. He is also the resident pianist of the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra.
The Chatham Chorale performs with a variety of instrumental ensembles of every size. Many Chorale concerts are accompanied by an orchestra of players from on and off Cape Cod. The Chorale has served as a symphonic chorus with the New Bedford Symphony and most frequently with the Cape Cod Symphony, especially in the annual Holiday Pops concerts.