The Rochester Male Chorus was founded on January 7, 1930 by Harold Cooke. It has performed in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Winnipeg, the Twin Cities and numerous other centers of population throughout the Upper Midwest.
Other performances through which the chorus earned the title Rochester's Ambassadors of Music were singing the national anthem at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, and at the 1976 NFL playoff game in Minneapolis. The chorus has also performed at the World's Fair in Seattle, at the Hemisfair in San Antonio, at the White House on Palm Sunday 1973, and also conducted a highly successful 13 day tour of England, Scotland and Wales in 1983.
As a member of the Associated Male Choruses of America, the RMC participates in Big Sings with about a dozen other member choruses in the Upper Midwest District, the next at Marshall, MN next spring. We also join all choruses in the AMCA for International Big Sings, such as the ones in Winnipeg, Canada in 1988, and in Marquette, Michigan in 1993. Other annual performances by the chorus include Christmas and Spring concerts. Both of these concerts have included guest performances by other area musical groups such as the Rochester Girls Choir, and the Rochester Boy Choir, which is sponsored by the RMC.
Since its inception, the Rochester Male Chorus has been governed democratically with the members annually electing a new slate of officers and Board of Directors. Membership is open twice a year, and male singers of all ages are invited to audition. In addition to Rochester men, the chorus currently consists of men from Mantorville, Dodge Center, Spring Valley, Pine Island, Stewartville, Reads Landing and Zumbrota.
The chorus has had only six directors in its existence. Founder Harold Cooke served from 1930-1974, Don Fiskum served from 1974-1985, Gordon Koehn served from 1985-1991, David Dryg directed from 1991-2000, and Dan Kuhlman served from 2000-2006. Our current director, Joel Blair, music minister at Homestead United Methodist Church, joined us in 2006. Joel, though new as our director, sang with us for a year at the turn of the century.
Information from the Rochester Male Chorus web site (4 Oct 2006)