The history of the chorus

The Oakland Choral Society (OCS) story began in 1963, when Oakland University first offered a course for a community chorus. In early 2003, the university dissolved the community involvement in the chorus.  Feeling the need to continue to bring incredible music to the community, a group of those singers banded together to form a chorus, independent from the university, called “Oakland Choral Society.” The first conductor and artistic director was D. Frederic DeHaven, who began a strong tradition of excellent choral singing. With Mr. DeHaven’s direction, the chorus developed a into a 60-70 (sometimes more) society of singers.

The choir operates on a fiscal year, July through June, and presents two concerts per year, one in the Fall (usually November), and one in the Spring (usually in April.) We rehearse on Tuesdays beginning in September for the Fall concert and in January for the Spring concert. Rehearsals are held at Birmingham Unitarian Church in Bloomfield Hills with downbeat at 7:15 pm.

We welcome those who read music, have some singing experience, and love singing classical choral music.

Mission and Artistic Objective

Our mission is to provide educational enrichment for Oakland County and metropolitan Detroit communities; to expand and enhance cultural experiences through dedication to the highest musical performance standards by presentation of significant classical and contemporary choral works; and to expose the listener to the finest choral literature in order to foster an appreciation of composers and singing. Our activities and performances are made possible through the generosity of individuals, local businesses, ticket sales, and chorus membership dues. We always welcome new supporters of music. OCS is 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization, and all donations are tax-deductible.

The artistic objectives we strive to achieve include interpretation of the compositions as the composer intended, with attention to dynamics, tempo, and to the emotions conveyed through the music. We aspire to perform each work with the original instrumentation dictated by the composer. Each concert, from preparation through performance, becomes another opportunity to improve our musicianship, our knowledge of the choral repertoire, and to present to our audience a concert that will keep them engaged so they will return for future OCS concerts.

Related to the artistic objectives are other considerations to enhance the experience of the audience and participants. These include choosing a performance venue that will “bring the music to life” with its ambiance and acoustics; selecting soloists who will complement the chorus, orchestra, and venue; providing a program booklet for the concert that will educate the participants about the works performed; and putting all of the above together to create a positive environment for the enjoyment of the concert.

OCS Conductors, Carrying on the Artistic Legacy . . .

Andrew Neer

2018 - Present

Andrew Neer

American conductor, quickly becoming known for his charismatic and expressive conducting style ...
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Noah Horn

2015 - 2018

Noah Horn

American conductor, known for historical performances . . .
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Scott Hanoian

2013 - 2015

Scott Hanoian

Currently conductor of UMS Choral Union at University of Michigan and Christ Church Grosse Pointe . . .
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Fred DeHaven

Founder

Fred DeHaven

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