photo by Berto Gandara
Dear Past and Present Members of Orcas Choral Society:

You are cordially invited to our first-ever Orcas Choral Society Reunion Party, on Wednesday, July 31, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Emmanuel Parish Hall, 242 Main St. Eastsound.  Please come!

Come see old friends, make new ones, and sing a bit together.  We’ll honor our artistic directors and accompanists, enjoy tapes and photos, listen to CDs, and go through the storied scrapbooks Louellen McCoy made for Catherine Pederson of our first 25 years.  

This being Orcas, and OCS being shoe-string operation, supper is potluck.  If you can bring something, do. If you can’t, come anyway.  We hope to see as many OCS members as possible.

In addition, our current Artistic Director, Bruce Langford is offering a public choral workshop at 2 p.m. the same day.  If you’d like to brush up your skills, come to the workshop.  If you know someone who should be in OCS but needs encouragement, send them.  

If you are in touch with former members, please forward them this email or let them know to info@orcaschoralsociety.org.  We don’t want anyone to miss this!



See you July 31!


From the sublime to the downright silly, Orcas Choral Society’s spring concert features works of contemporary English composer John Rutter. The program begins with Rutter’s Requiem, a fervent arc of prayers for all humanity. The second half turns to sweetness, light, and all manner of fun, with spirituals, a jazz madrigal, and songs that rejoice in the beauty of spring.  Under the lively baton of Artistic Director Bruce Langford and introducing a new OCS ensemble of tenors and basses, Songs of Shadow and Light will leave your heart singing.


Bruce Langford, Artistic Director of the Orcas Choral Society, will give you a
whole new appreciation for music drawing on decades of experience as a
performer, conductor, and educator. And his trademark wit will have you
laughing all the while.
This event is sponsored by the Orcas Island Public Library and organized by
Sam Gailey, Programs Librarian.

Photo below from 12/11/2023. Andy Rivera (Orcas Youth Chorus) and Orcas Christian School students added beautifully to the mix.





Dear Sharon & Miriam,
I attended this morning’s lecture by Bruce Langford to the high school Band and Strings students in the Band room at school.  Bruce had the students completely engaged, listening & laughing.  The lecture’s topic was listening to music – not doing something else while music plays in the background, but listening to the notes & rhythms and noticing the images that your brain conjures from hearing the music.
Bruce talked about the difference between noise and sound & between vibration and hearing.  He had the students describing the images that music created in their heads. Bruce talked about the voice in your head and the images in your head being unique to you even though we all are constantly listening to the voice in our heads and watching our own private show in our head.
Bruce hummed the first four notes of Beethoven’s 5th symphony, then played the first few minutes of the symphony for the class, pointing out the repetition of the first four notes and that 225 years later, we all are familiar with those notes that were repeated 382 times in 15 minutes.  Bruce asked the class how many symphonies Beethoven wrote, and Theo (Vaccarella, Sharon Ho’s son) correctly answered nine!
Attached are two photos plus a cropped version of one of the photos to post on MAG’s social media and, Miriam, to forward to Choral Society for their social media.
What a privilege it was to hear Bruce explain music in such a clear and fun way.  I appreciate his generosity in coming to school to engage with the music students.




Our Artistic Directors, past and present

Catherine Pederson, Roger Sherman, Marianne Lewis and Bruce Langford

SING with friends! Orcas youth choral groups are open for Fall registration
Know a teen or younger kid who loves to sing? Help us spread the word about this fun and
rewarding opportunity for island youth to discover their voices, hone their singing skills and share
musical harmony with friends. Studies have shown that singing has many powerful effects on the
brain, including improving optimism, resilience and feelings of connection to others.
After a successful debut last year, Orcas Youth Chorus (OYC) and Junior Orcas Youth Chorus (JOY
Chorus) will begin a new Fall session on Sunday, September 10, led by local choral directors with
many years of experience working with fresh, young voices. Youth from all Orcas schools,
including home-schooled students, are welcome.
Let’s get our youth to sing!
Sundays, September 10th to December 10th, in the Orcas High School Music Room.
Orcas Youth Chorus — 6th-12th grade
Sun, 3-4pm
Choral Directors: Pamela Wright and Andy Rivera
Junior Orcas Youth Chorus — 2nd-5th grade
Sun, 2-3pm
Choral director: Bev Leyman and Pamela Wright
$25 fee. Scholarships are available.
Sign up at: orcasparkandrec.org
Sponsored by: Music Advocacy Group and Orcas Choral Society


Help Orcas Chorus Society with your purchase at amazon.com. Click on iconHelp Orcas Choral Society with your purchase at amazon.com

Orcas Choral Society Returns – with a New Director!

Orcas Choral Society is delighted to announce its return to singing together this fall under its
new Artistic Director, Bruce Langford.
“Bruce brings us decades of choral direction, voice instruction, musical theater experience and an
exciting, vibrant conducting style,” said chorus president Lynn Baker. “We are thrilled to have him
lead us.”
Bruce previously directed “La Cage Aux Folles” in November of 2018 at Orcas Center. In 2019, he acted as the Narrator in ‘Rocky Horror Show’ “in a performance so shocking, it closed the theater for two years,” he recalled with tongue in cheek.

Orcas Choral Society invites all singers to its fall season opening, 6 p.m., Tuesday,September 20 in the Orcas Center Madrona Room. “We’ll meet Bruce andrun through music for the 2022 holiday concert,” Baker said. “If you like it, you can sign up for the season.” Information on the Orcas Choral Society is available at www.orcaschoralsociety.org  (see link below), Orcas Choral Society has performed at the Orcas Center since its opening, interrupted only by the COVID pandemic. The chorus stopped rehearsals for safety after March 3, 2020. In 2021, OCS sang at the lighting of the Eastsound Christmas tree and caroled for the Eastsound community outdoors. After an open outdoor rehearsal in April 2022, Artistic Director Marianne Lewis retired.“We miss Marianne, and are sorry to lose her, but we’re most grateful she kept us going through the pandemic,” Baker said.
Bruce Langford served more than 25 years as Professor of Music History and Voice at Citrus College in Glendora, Calif. He has performed with and conducted vocal and instrumental ensembles throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia and held principal roles in more than 50theatrical productions. He was a program director for  several years on classical KUSC Radio in Los Angeles and has appeared as a guest lecturer for arts organizations such as the William Hall Chorale, Pacific Chorale, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, and Los
Angeles Opera. Bruce received his music degrees from the California Institute of The Arts and Southwestern School of Music. He has published numerous articles on music, literature, and the
“We are so happy to resume in-person rehearsals this fall and to mount a holiday concert for our community this December,” Baker said. “We will maintain protocols for everyone’s health and safety, but it’s time to get back together and sing!


Watch the “Celebrate” performance

Contact Us

Sing music you like! Sing with friends!


Calling Grades 6-12 students from all schools and homes to sing together in a Youth Chorus this Fall.  Directors Andy Rivera and Monica Steele will lead this fun foray into choral singing, on Sundays from 4:00-5:00 pm, in the Music/Multipurpose Room at the Orcas Island Public School.  Come with friends, make new ones and blend your voices in harmony!

Information Meeting (students and parents):

Sunday, Sept. 25, 4pm at Public School Music/Multipurpose Room

Sign up:  orcasparkandrec.org ($10 registration fee)

Questions? Ask Tom Baldwin: tbaldwin@ucr.edu or (520) 979-9413

Sponsored by Orcas Choral Society, Orcas Island Music Advocacy Group (MAG) and Orcas Island Park and Recreation District (OIPRD)

Help Orcas Chorus Society with your purchase at amazon.com. Click on icon

Help Orcas Choral Society with your purchase at amazon.com



Thank you to our supporters and sponsors:























To view the 2020 MAG Concert photos and videos, CLICK HERE.





Orcas Choral Society joined with choral groups across America to commission a new piece by well-known composer Ola Gjeilo. You will hear us present a premier performance of Gjeilo’s new piece in a future concert! Your contribution in the 2019 Holiday Catalog and other donations helped us to fund this commission and hire the instrumentalists required for the performance. Thank you!



You can go to our “What’s Happening” page to find out what choral music events are coming up as well as “Past Events” page to see imagery and information from what we’ve already done.

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