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Chorale Midwest Mission and Vision



To provide cultural enrichment, educational inspiration, and community recognition. 



To perform inspirational and innovative concert programs at the highest artistic level. To enrich and expand the cultural and musical experience of our audience. To create an environment where the passion and experience of choral music can thrive. 

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

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Chorale Midwest, First Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids, 2021

Our History

The Chorale begins its 27th season in Fall of 2023, it’s 22nd under Director of Chorale Activities, Bradley T. Barrett. This season promises to be another thrilling one for the Chorale, as we travel to New York City in March of 2023 to perform at Carnegie Hall!

The 2021-22 season marked the 25th Anniversary of what is now known as Chorale Midwest. We’ve come a long way from where we started.

In 1996, singers came together to participate in the 200-voice Freedom Festival Chorus under Cedar Rapids conductor Charles Ashford. This event sparked the joy of choral music in several singers, and in September of 1997, they met with other friends and singers to discuss reprising a group that sang together years earlier on a singing tour of Europe. It was at this meeting they decided to create The New Midwest Chorale.

The group used word of mouth and a short piece in the newspaper to announce auditions, and The New Midwest Choral began their first rehearsals under the direction of Charles Ashford. Their debut performance took place in January 1998 at McKinley Middle School.

The board of the newly incorporated ensemble set its sights high: a group not to exceed fifty-five voices, to perform regionally and internationally, and be an alternative to other area community choirs. These goals made the Chorale unique among other area choral organizations.

From 1997 to 2000, the Chorale performed under the direction of Charles Ashford, Gene LeVasseur, and Bruce Chamberlain. As a nod to their artistic advancement, the Chorale dropped “New” from the name, and as the new millennium began, The New Midwest Chorale became Chorale Midwest. The newly renamed Choral Midwest went on to perform under conductor Michael Reese for three seasons, from 2000-2003.

The 2022-2023 season marked the 21st year that Chorale Midwest sang under Director of Chorale Activities, Bradley T Barrett. With many longstanding members, the choir has developed a synergy that enables them to perform inspirational and innovative concert programs at the highest artistic level. Chorale Midwest continues to grow in popularity and has become a vibrant part of the community.

After an unexpected hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our 25th Anniversary landmark season marked another moment. For the first time in its history, Chorale Midwest performed two commissioned works: a new arrangement by Matthew Culloton that was debuted at our Christmas Concert, Dec. 11, 2021; and a new choral work by Elaine Hagenberg for SATB choir, piano, and strings which debuted at the Spring Concert, April 2, 2022. Ms. Hagenberg’s choral work, Illuminare, is the piece Chorale Midwest performed the work along with other choirs at Carnegie Hall in New York City on March 13, 2023.

Chorale Midwest will be making history once again in our 2023-2024 season with our exciting performances! There will be three concerts at Grace Episcopal Church: Journey Through Time on October 15th, Christmas With Chorale Midwest, on December 8 at 7:30 pm and December 10 at 2:30, and Journey Through Nature on April 6 and 7 at 2:30 pm. We wrap up the year with our Kentucky Derby-themed fundraising gala on April 27 at 11:00 am and 3:30 pm. We look forward to seeing you all season!

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Full rehearsal at First Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids, before Spring Concert 2022

Contact Us

If you are interested in learning more about Chorale Midwest or have any questions about tickets, our performances or auditioning for the Chorale, please contact us at

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