The CHORALE History

Beginning in 1982 as a small ensemble of singers providing music for the holidays in the Village of Mahomet, The CHORALE has grown to include 55 members from Champaign-Urbana and surrounding communities. The CHORALE remains under the leadership of its founding director, Julie Beyler, and performs a wide variety of choral music appealing to audiences of diverse musical tastes. We are an independent, not for profit organization.


The CHORALE 25th Season Photo

In recent years, The CHORALE has had performing tours in Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic and most recently Spain and Portugal.

Our 2008 Young Artist Scholarship concert featured an encore appearance by special guest conductor Dr. Craig Jessop. The concert featured a peformance of John Rutter’s Gloria as well as performances by two scholarship winners.


2008 Young Artist Scholarship Concert

In June of 2008 The CHORALE ventured on its third International tour to Ireland. You can read what members wrote about this trip here.


The CHORALE at St. Nick’s

Our 2006 Celebration of Life concert featured the Festival Chorus and special guest conductor Dr. Craig Jessop, former director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.


The Festival Chorus and Orchestra 2006 Group Photo.

Our second International tour began in early August of 2006. This time our destination was Scotland. From Glasgow to the isle of Mull and Iona and back to Edinburgh we enjoyed the ancient castles and churches and discovered the warmth and friendliness of the Scottish people. Accompanying us throughout our adventure was the late renowned Scottish folk singer Jean Redpath. Our memories are captured in our tour diary.


The CHORALE 2006 Scotland Tour Group Photo.

In 2004 Julie Beyler, the Music Director for The CHORALE, had an inspiration walking through the Mahomet countryside. From this came the vision to share our words and music in another part of the world. After months of planning and coordination this dream came true. Fifty some CHORALE members plus a handful of spouses and friends left the familiarity of our homes and community and journeyed to the beautiful land of Italy.


The CHORALE 2005 Italy Tour Group Photo.

We sang in Rome, Florence, Venice, Treviso and Milan including our first international performance during mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. It was a memorable experience for all of us who went. Some of these memories are shared on our tour diary.

Over the years, The CHORALE has performed in a variety of venues including Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and the Assembly Hall on the University of Illinois campus, the historic Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign, and Faith United Methodist Church, Champaign.


The CHORALE 2002 New Year’s Eve Group Photo.

We have included some excerpts from various performances for your enjoyment. Hopefully, these small sound clips will entice you to come hear us perform in one of our concerts this season.

The following sound clips are available in MP3 format:

Nelly Bly (.8Meg)

1982 Photo of the original CHORALE members.

Performing with The CHORALE have been such international and local guest artists as Dr. Craig Jessop, Jean Redpath, Alice Parker, William Warfield, Ian Hobson, Tony Caramia, Medicare 7, 8, or 9, and Julie and Steve McClarey. Through a past association with The Carle Foundation, The CHORALE has provided musical beginnings for programs featuring Art Linkletter, Robert Fulghum, Dr. T. Berry Brazelton and Dennis Waitley.


The CHORALE appears on stage at the Great Hall at the Krannert Center in 1990 with Art Linkletter in “Old Age is Not for Sissies!”.