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The Little Traverse Choral Society (LTCS) began in 1986 as a group of sixteen vocalists singing around a piano in a private home. They called themselves the Little Traverse Chamber Singers. In March 1989 the group changed its name to the Little Traverse Choral Society and filed Articles of Incorporation as a non profit organization. The LTCS is recognized as a 501(c) (3) non profit organization by the Internal Revenue Service. The LTCS received its tax exempt status in January 1990.


The LTCS began its tradition of community giving in 1986 by hosting the first “Messiah Sing”, a Messiah sing-a-long in which community members brought their musical scores and came to sing along with the LTCS. The LTCS provided the soloists, organist and on this occasion, the accompaniment of the Little Traverse Orchestra. This tradition continued through 2001. In 2002 the LTCS and the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra presented a performance of the Messiah.


The LTCS is known for its performance of signature classical pieces. A sampling of selections the ensemble has performed includes Schubert’s "Mass in G Major," Bach’s "Magnificat," Haydn’s "The Creation" and "The Seven Last Words of Christ," Poulenc’s "Gloria", Mozart’s "Requiem" and the Bach "Kantate 150." The LTCS has also performed the works of contemporary composers such as John Rutter, Aaron Copland, Ralph Vaughan Williams and has premiered compositions by local artists: Thomas Woehrmann’s Chorale Prelude on St. Crispin and Jerry Westerman’s "American Requiem" based on letters and poems of servicemen during the Viet Nam War which were published in the book "Dear America."


The LTCS joined the Michigan Opera Theatre in the 1991 and 1993 Opera-In-Residence Tours. The LTCS was the chorus for MOT’s Petoskey performances of Verdi’s "La Traviata" and Rossini’s "La Cenerentola" ( Cinderella). LTCS singers were rehearsed by MOT staff, and wore professional costumes and stage make up for the productions.


On the lighter side, the LTCS has performed dinner theater at the Terrace Inn at Bay View and the Perry Hotel. Musical entertainment ranged from madrigals, opera choruses and Broadway hits to Peter Schickele’s "P.D.Q." and Bach’s "Oedipus Tex."

The group’s membership has been fortunate to include well known area vocalists Mary D. Bowman, Maureen Delaney-Lehman, Eleanor Hill,  Greg Hill, Helene Kleymeer, Robin Kredell, Randy Marquardt, Heather Marvin, Mary Michelsen, Julie Pierpont, Peter Sims, Steve Spencer, and June Zoerhof. All have contributed greatly to the performance of challenging classical compositions in Northern Michigan.  

Music Directors 


Fran Tollas   Mother of LTCS

 & Associate Director  1986 - 1991

 Jerry Westerman   1987

Jeff  Bell-Hanson   1988-1990

Fran Tollas   1990-1991

Gig Stewart   1991-1992

Katharine Trumble   1992-2000

Jim Owen   2000-2002

Brad Moffatt   2002-2006

Tim Hendrickson   2006-2010

Julie Pierpont   2010-2011

Tim Hendrickson   Spring 2012

David Sawtelle   2012-2013

David Gladstone  2013-2015

Peter Sims   2015-2016

Jan Johnson   2016

Chris Hodges   2017-2020
Adam Boyce   2020-2022

André Strydom   2022-present



Margaret Thomson   1986-1987

Don Niedert   1988

Gertrude Fairbairn   1989-1992, 1994-1997, 1998-1999, 2002-2009

Myriam Goodwin   1989-1992

Katherine Schanski   1993

 Michelle Mitchum   1998, 2015, 2016

 Elizabeth Von Nolting   2000

Kristin Story   2000-2002

Howard Richards   2009-2010 

Rita McIntyre   2011-2013

Ellen Kendall   2013-present

Charter Members


Karen Bell-Hanson

Charlene Brown

Audrey Collins

Joann Dannecker

Fern Delaney

Florence Ellison

Deborah Gelderblom

Sabra Hayden

Dianna Heinzelman

Helene Kleymeer 

Janis Ley

Heather Marvin

Robert Munn 

Stephen Overton

Karen Pickarski 

Julie Pierpont

Karen Shoemaker

Steve Spencer

Paul Stewart

Lillian Swinton

Fran Tollas

Jeanette Tousain

Thomas Walker

Jan Woehrmann

Lugene York  

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