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 also 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.
RECIPIENT OF THE 2010 eddi AWARD
FOR ARTS AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATION
This award is given to an organization for outstanding contributions to arts and culture for the benefit of the citizens of Charlevoix and Emmet counties.
The eddi Award recognizes excellence in the arts and service to the Northern Michigan Community. It was presented by the Crooked Tree Arts Center and sponsored by the Bay View Association.
LTCS members of 2010 celebrate by the eddi Award sculpture in front of the Crooked Tree Arts Center. L to R: Board members Marje Williams, Robert Utter, President Jean Fought, Board member Millie Janka, Executive Director JoEllen Rudolph, and Music Director Julie Pierpont.
ROSTER OF DIRECTORS, ACCOMPANISTS AND CHARTER MEMBERS
Fran Tollas (Mother of LTCS) - 1986
Fran Tollas (Associate Director) - 1987 - 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 Hendrickon - 2012 Spring
David Sawtelle - 2012 - 2013
David Gladstone - 2013 - 2015
Peter Sims - 2015 - 2016
Jan Johnson - 2016
Chris Hodges - 2017 - 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