The Cardinal Chorale

An honor choir developing body, mind, spirit & voice. Singers who have completed the ninth grade through their first year of college are eligible to apply.

The dates for 2017 are July 22-29 at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio

The week-long experience will feature:

Singing, friends, laughter, workshops of your choice, evening concerts by guest artists, delicious food, and fun activities! Charles R. Snyder is artistic director and conductor of the ensemble.

Operating as usual


Tomorrow, Monday, December 28, at 7 p.m. we will be premiering the Cardinal Chorale's traditional post-Christmas Pickerington concert on YouTube: This concert was originally live-streamed on December 28, 2017, and we are sharing it again this holiday season.

While it is not meant to be a Christmas concert, there is a spirit of joy, which is part of Christmas. And they will sing "Do You Hear What I Hear," the perennial song they learn the morning of the concert.

We will miss being together, in person, in Pickerington tomorrow, but are glad to be bringing music to you :) We hope you will watch with us! Merry Christmas :)


Ridgewood Performing Arts

Way to go, Julia - member of the 25th edition of the Chorale :)

Junior Julia Grimmett was featured tonight on the Adobe Max Livestream and TWENTY THREE THOUSAND people from around the globe were tuned in to see her video! You can check it out here:


On Saturday morning, October 5, the 24th (2018) and 25th (2019) editions of the Chorale gathered to rehearse for their parts in the Sunday concert. The 25th Chorale is pictured rehearsing "Like a River in My Soul," a new song in the Chorale repertoire.

Chorale alumni arrived Saturday afternoon, and smiles and hugs were everywhere! Staff member Haley Evans distributes music packets to [L-R] Kevin Baum (09-11), Todd Litman (96-97; Europe), Kyle Heinrich (11), Jenna Seeright (13-14), and Tori Guinsler (14-15).

Saturday events were centered in Muskingum's John Glenn Gymnasium. Chris McManus, assistant conductor (95-00), rehearsed the Chorale's Revere sequence ("America, I Hear You Singing," "Paul Revere's Ride," and "Anthem"). Justin Lehigh (European Tour - 2000) was the soloist for "Anthem."

Beth (Holdgreve) Vaughn (96-97, Europe; staff) led the soprano/alto sectional in Brown Chapel, while Chad Putka (07-08; staff) led the tenor/bass sectional) in the gym.

After the Saturday evening banquet, of course there was more singing! One of the ("listen to the introduction; if you know it, stand up and sing!") songs was "I Am but a Small Voice." Staff alumnus Alex Daw (01-02) was the emcee for the after-dinner program. Betty Harrison (European Tour chaperone) along with help from Don Harrison & Cathy Evans created the beautiful table d├ęcor for the banquet.

Another after-dinner treat: members of the 1998 European Tour Chorale sang "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother," a much-loved arrangement from the Waring Collection. Leo Welsh (96-97; Europe) was the soloist.

Sunday morning worship in Brown Chapel was led by The Reverend Kris Litman (98-99) and The Reverend Mary Ann (Harris) Siefke (99-02). Steve Snyder (96; Europe; staff) conducted the choral introit, "Shout to God," a common denominator with many Chorale members and alumni.

The moving and inspiring service concluded with "Go Light Your World" (conducted by Beth Vaughn and accompanied by arranger, Sarah J. (Seymour) Baker. Soloists were Joey McClain (13-15) and Kyla Geer (14-19). You'll see Mary Ann and Kris in the center aisle, lighting aisle candles. Other music included Craig Courtney's "Be Not Afraid," "Lean on Me," a Mark Hayes prelude - an arrangement of "O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing" by staff members Mark Wagner and Matt Downing, and "Toccata in G Major," a glorious organ postlude by Theodore Dubois, also played by Mark Wagner.

Chorale friend and encourager Cabot Rea, former anchor for channel 4, WCMH, Columbus, was the emcee for the afternoon concert, held in the Anne C. Steele Center. (Cabot's daughter, Cassie, was a member of the Chorale in 06-07).

The combined 24th and 25th Chorales opened the concert, singing Garry Cornell's fanfare, "Let There Be Music," from the middle of the audience, followed by the now-traditional processional, "As We Are Walking in the Light."

Michael W. Smith's "Friends" was followed by the concert's "fireworks" conclusion: "Pledge of Allegiance," "Stars of Glory" [featuring soloists Todd Litman (96; Europe), Nathan Shutt (10-12), and Ryan Gildow (17-19)]. Paul Christiansen's setting of "This Is My Father's World," Cole Porter's "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye," "Battle Hymn of the Republic," "Siyahamba," and Garry Cornell's "Song of Farewell."

The conversations that weekend included two frequent questions "Is this really the first Chorale reunion? Nothing is ever this polished the first time!" and "Are we going to do this again in five years?" The answers: "Yes, it is the first, and thank you for being part of this celebration!" and "We'll think about that!"

Two different CD sets were produced for the 25th anniversary:

Leave No Song Unsung, a two-disc compilation featuring recordings by all 25 Chorales: 60 songs total
Homeward Bound, a two-disc recording of the anniversary concert: 50 songs total. To order the Homeward Bound CD go to:

We hope you have enjoyed these almost-weekly looks back at our history: this is #67. We had no idea how many of these anniversary things would become part-time jobs! Erin Jobes and I now need to turn our attention to other tasks, including (for her) substitute teaching, and (for me) finishing a new study in my home. Both of us, hopefully with help, will make a second sorting through of roughly 200 boxes of things in my garage and in the new Community Choir/Chorale office space - all from my rooms at the church. We will also be working on similar anniversary projects for the Community Choir's 50th anniversary celebration [which would have been this coming April, had it not been for the pandemic] in April, 2022.

I'm sure we will post other Chorale pictures from time to time, but not regularly. Thank you for paying them a weekly visit, and for the encouraging comments you've shared as you have enjoyed them.

May God hold you in the palm of his hand,



A last look before the change...

Since the fall of 1999, my studio at The Presbyterian Church has also been "command central" for the Coshocton Community Choir, the Coshocton Singers, the Coshocton Youth Chorale, and the Cardinal Chorale. We thought you might want to see some pictures of it before it was packed and moved to a new office space in town, and to a newly-created study in my home.

As you entered the door, you would see my desk, the "bat phone," a painting of John Glenn returning home to New Concord from space in 1962, flanked by pictures of Helen Kemp and Albert Schweitzer - both heroes of mine. On the desk just beyond your view was a handy container of straws :-)

Based on the layout I planned for the upstairs office I used from 1977 until the fall of 1999, I was able to design the space, with the help and support of Merle Leech, Bennie McPeek, and Blair Porteus. The room had previously been the Scout room, and then the church's choir rehearsal and robe room. When the current Schlegel Choir Room was prepared in 1986, this room became the Crusaders Choir 's rehearsal room, and for a time it was also the piano studio for Dickie (Rohrer) Barrick, accompanist for the Community Choir since 1983. The recliner was so comfortable that after it arrived, I rarely sat in it - it was so comfortable that I was afraid I might fall asleep!

The map of Martha's Vineyard (off the coast of Massachusetts) was painted by my artist friend, William Blakley (who also painted the John Glenn picture), a professor at Muskingum who had a home and studio on the Vineyard. Steve Snyder crashed on the couch the night before his interview at Ridgewood. For those of you who've heard of the Enneagram [that was part of the CIT training for the AOYC, and more recently has been a seminar for grade 13 singers at the Cardinal Chorale Music Workshop], the books on the bottom two shelves on the right siude of the cabinet are all different looks at the Enneagram, a study of nine personality types.

The Chickering grand piano was made possible through gifts from the 1999 AOSFYC, Room 15 at Oakland Park School [where Cheryl Brown taught], members of the Coshocton Community Choir, Jack and Jerri Pocock, and Bill and Cheryl Brown. On Monday, it was moved to my living room.

On the wall behind the table you'll see pictures of [top row, L-R] Fred Waring, the Concordia Choir, Paul J. Christiansen;
[bottom row] Weston Noble, Richard C. Johnston, Sandra Willetts, and Ellis E. Snyder - some of my most influential teachers. The Norfolk pine came as a 18" tabletop tree for Christmas in 2001. It was repotted and brought to my house last week, thanks to a dear friend.

Chorale members gathered in the studio before tour last year to hear a recording of a song we were polishing.

Erin snapped a picture as I was making plans for the big move.
You can also see a photo of the studio once everything was moved out and as we begin the new chapter. Later we'll share pictures of the new spaces.


Last week we featured pictures of Chris McManus and his nine summers with the Youth Choir and his six years with the Cardinal Chorale. Here are some memories from the February, 2001 reunion of the 2000 edition of the Youth Choir and Chorale.

On Saturday afternoon, the Chorale rehearsed on the risers in front of the Coshocton High School stage. They reviewed their group of songs for Sunday's concert, and got acquainted with the room's acoustics. That evening they did more polishing after dinner at another rehearsal in the chapel of The Presbyterian Church.

After the final songs by the Youth Choir, Mr. McManus was honored for his distinguished service to the Choir and Chorale. A member from each of the nine years shared a memory of him.

On behalf of all those who had sung with Mr. McManus, Gary Coyle and Steve Snyder presented him a picture frame featuring snapshots from each year, as well as a commemorative book of other pictures.

As part of the finale, Mr. McManus conducted the combined Youth Choir/Chorale and the Coshocton Community Choir. [CCC on the edges of the risers; AOYC/CC in the middle.]

Mr. Snyder returned to the podium to conduct the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," and invited the audience to join in singing the final chorus. The American flag came down on the concluding "Amen."

Mr. Snyder, Ms. Seymour, and Mr. McManus step away from farewells long enough for a picture after the performance. #tbt



Christopher L. McManus became assistant director and conductor of the All-Ohio Youth Choir in 1992, when Mr. Snyder invited him to join the Choir staff. When the Cardinal Chorale was organized in 1995, Mr. McManus became assistant conductor of that ensemble as well.

1995 - "Moments in Time" Snyder and McManus discusses some changes in a score after breakfast at the Rhodes Center. [Of course we would choose the darkest colors of polos for the hottest Fair: it was 90 degrees or more every day of the 1995 Fair!]

1996 - "Showstoppers" Mr. McManus conducting the Youth Choir at the ODNR amphitheatre. Simon encourages the singers to smile :-)

1997 - "From Sea to Shining Sea" Sparkle, our Clown friend, joins a crowd of Youth Choir friends at ODNR.

1998 - "One World, One Voice, One Song" Mr. McManus conducts a set at an evening concert.

1999 - "The Power of One" The two conductors share words of encouragement after a long day of rehearsing, marching, and singing.

2000 - "An American Tapestry" Mr. McManus on the podium for an evening concert.

We were excited that Mr. McManus could join us for the Chorale's 25th anniversary celebration at Muskingum University last October. He rehearsed and conducted a set of songs for the Sunday concert. #tbt


Eric Smith and Matt Weaver (on Eric's right), members of the 2007 Chorale, sang the solo lines in Roger Emerson's arrangement of "The Longest Time." The song was also a hit on the Chorale's tour the following June. Dixie and Chad Baker are at the keyboard, and Matt Hayes is at the drum set. The yellow polos were chosen for the 2007 show, "Keepers of the Light."

Len Thomas (pictured next to Robert Owen Jones, Muskingum's choral director) receives a staff shirt as a thank you for his help working with the Chorale on his arrangement of "On This Night of a Thousand Stars." The presentation came at the end of the Main Street Stage concert.

Later that day, Len played for his arrangement of "Beautiful Ohio" at the ODNR concert.

After the final concert, Darrell Rubel [left] and Len - sporting his staff shirt, new recipients of the Choir's Distinguished Service Award", pause for a picture.

The 2007 Chorale is back on the risers at the Janis Center, singing for the new 2008 Chorale during rehearsal week. Staff member Estella Sproat is the page turner for pianist Chad Baker.#tbt


2017 Cardinal Chorale Music Workshop - Day Three

The theme of the third Cardinal Chorale Music Workshop at Muskingum University July 22-29th, 2017 was "Give Us Hope." The evening concerts are a highlight of each Workshop. That summer's evening performances included: a Musical Theatre Showcase, "When I Grow Up," the CoshocTones (Chorale alumnus Luke Widder, Heath Chaney, Andrew Hall, and Donovan Rice) performing selections from Forever Plaid, an evening of dancing with John Wargowsky, and an evening concert with former member of Fred Waring's Pennyslvanians and Chorale friend, Len Thomas (see the #tbt from three weeks ago for more about Len). This week's VIDEO throwback includes Len singing I've Got the World on a String from that evening. (Stay tuned until the end and you will get to see him playing keyboard/singing!) The YouTube clip is here:

You will also see some of the highlights from the third day of the Workshop, Monday, July 24. A lot of the video clips come from that day's electives: Line Dancing with Ann Leppla & Darren Wallace, Crafting with Caroline Heading, Repertoire Planning with CRS & Peter Hampton, and Spirituals with Erin Jobes & Matt Downing.

Other the other one-day electives that week were: Swing Dancing (Haley Evans & Josh Dufford), Leadership (Josh Senn), Career in music outside of education (Jen Sper, Ryan Kemper, Erin Jobes), and Audition Tips (James Vaughn & Matt Downing). The three day seminars were: Website Development (Ryan Kemper & James Vaughn), Musicianship (Peter Hampton & Matt McTeague), Elementary Education (Matt Downing & Darren Wallace), Conducting (Josh Dufford), Finding Your Voice (Beth Vaughn & Haley Evans), and the Enneagram (CRS & Josh Senn).

That summer a brass ensemble was chosen from members of the Chorale to accompany Eugene Butler's Festival Piece on St. Anne. The song incorporates the hymn O God Our Help in Ages Past, a salute to the Workshop's theme of hope. You will see them rehearsing with staff member Josh Dufford.

Video by Haley Evans, Chorale alumna and current staff member.

"World on a String" sung by Leonard M. Thomas, from his outstanding evening performance. Video also includes highlights of the day.


The 2001 Chorale on the risers in the Janis Center, singing much of their final tour concert for the new Youth Choir during rehearsal week, 2002. Chad Baker is at the keyboard.

Robbie Wells and Zane Buxton sing a new duet version of the spiritual, "Ride On, King Jesus," before the Chorale joined them for one of Mr. Snyder's choral codas.

Jamie Addison and Josh Marks performing "Anything You Can Do," from Annie Get Your Gun."

The next three pictures are from Alumni Day at the end of the 2002 Fair:

Since the Fair had eliminated Chorale performances beginning with the 2002 Fair, the 2002 Chorale sang their debut on Alumni Day. They soon made up for lost time: they sang at the Statehouse for the first anniversary observance of the 9/11 attacks; sang their traditional post-Christmas concert at Epiphany Lutheran Church in Pickerington, performed at the second inaugural for Governor Taft, and sang for the OMEA conference in Cleveland a few weeks later. In June they sang for the Strawberry Festival at the Presbyterian Church in Coshocton, and headed out for a two-day tour with major concerts in Cincinnati and Portsmouth,

The 1999 Chorale also sang on Alumni Day, as did the 2000 Chorale. The 2001 Chorale (not pictured here) also sang, followed by the 2002 Chorale, an "all skate" with all Chorale alumni, and a grand finale. Sarah Baker joined Chad at the keyboard. #tbt



The winter reunion in Coshocton began in 1993 (for the 1992 Youth Choir). For many years it was on the weekend of President's Day, since Monday was a day off school - and we could get things cleaned up. We were snowed out in 2003.

The weekend began with an afternoon registration at Coshocton High School, and a big rehearsal on stage. At the end of the rehearsal, the Coshocton Community Choir joined us to rehearse the finale. The Youth Choir/Chorale were in the center, "shingled" so they would fit - and so they could facilitate the flag drop at the end of the "Battle Hymn." The picture shows that combined rehearsal in 2000 (for the 1999 Youth Choir and Cardinal Chorale).

Community Choir members would help transport singers and their luggage to The Presbyterian Church for dinner. Following the meal, the Chorale would meet in the chapel and rehearse their songs for the Sunday afternoon concert. Occasionally other young singers would join us for that time.

This was "The Coshocton Singers" - a select group from the 80-voice Coshocton Children's Choir, and they sang a song for the Chorale. [You may spot future Chorale members Beth Dulaney, Rob Evans, Brandon Gurza, Heath Grogro, Chelsey McPeek, Lann Martin, John Pollock, Daniel Wolfgang, and future Youth Choir members Jonathan Brouse, Kristin Fuller, Ashley Grossman, Angie Guenther, Abby Hudson, Alison Jones, Ashley Kestler, and Amy Schlegel]. Was that successful recruiting?!

The Chorale sang several songs for our guests, and then the combined groups sang "Oh, Freedom," clinching the recruiting :-)

Host families dropped their guests off at the church on Sunday morning and we practiced the hymns for the day [sitting in the balcony], as well as the songs we sang as anthems, which is why assistant conductor Chris McManus is looking up as he rehearsed an anthem.

On the third stanza of the final hymn, the singers came down and surrounded the congregation for Garry Cornell's "Song of Farewell."

The young singers numbered 1`40 their first year, and as the Youth Choir grew, so did the reunions: when the Youth Choir numbered 262, there were 243 here for the reunion! [Kudos to Debbie Brown, Ann Leppla, and Cathy Hudson for lining up all the host families, 1992-2013.]
Worship attendance was always in the 400s, and for a number of years was in the 550 range. In 1997 the worship count was 630! The acoustic shell came down for the big crowds, and ushers sprang into action carrying chairs for the Assembly Room.

In 2013 we called the 2012 Chorale out of "retirement," and they sang for worship and shared an electric concert that afternoon at the church. The reunion tradition continues: with the Encore! Honors Choir in 2014, and the Cardinal Chorale since 2015. #tbt

Our Story

The dates for 2020 are:
January 19, 2020 Reunion concert at The Presbyterian Church, Coshocton - 3 p.m.

June 12-18 Tour around Ohio culminating with a concert at Roscoe United Methodist Church, Coshocton at 7 p.m. (Stay tuned for more details).

July 18-25 (tentative) at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio

The week-long experience will feature:

Singing, friends, laughter, workshops of your choice, evening concerts by guest artists, delicious food, and fun activities!

Charles R. Snyder is artistic director and conductor of the ensemble.

Videos (show all)

Getting to Know the Cardinal Chorale (Video Editing Seminar 2019)
A Guided Tour of the Cardinal Chorale Workshop (Video Editing Seminar 2019)
Workshop 2019 - Day 7
Workshop 2019 - Day 6
Workshop 2019 - Day 5
Workshop 2019 - Day 4
Workshop 2019 - Day 3
Workshop 2019 - Day 2
Workshop 2019 - Day 1
Chorale Workshop 2018 - Day 7





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