Singers may join the Chorus without auditioning. The size of our group is currently limited to 36, to fit our rehearsal facility. A dues scholarship is available for anyone for whom the $20 fee would be a hardship. We hold around 12 weekly rehearsals to prepare for each concert. Rehearsal CD’s are provided for each member of the chorus. Music Director Kriss Larsen accepts the dual roles of playing piano and conducting during rehearsals, and Lee Bartley joins the group as accompanist for dress rehearsals and performances.
A little history
The early beginnings are nebulous with a few Mancos residents singing together now and then, here and there without much organization. The Mancos Valley Chorus was established in 1998 by a few friends and neighbors interested in having music as a part of their life and in sharing that love of music with the community. Being few in numbers and having no funding, music was donated, directors were whoever was available, and venues were wherever and whenever allowed. With the advent of Mancos Valley Resources, the 501 (c)(3) umbrella under which the non-profit Chorus operates, the Chorus began collecting donations at concerts, holding fundraisers and writing grants. Our numbers grew modestly as did our bank account.
In 2000 the Chorus employed Kriss Larsen as Director along with an accompanist. Again, our numbers grew; our fundraisers became more productive as did the donations and the signups for the City Market Cares Program. Today we are fortunate to have several sponsors and Kriss remains our Director and embodies the spirit of the Chorus as the original members envisioned. Lee Bartley joined the Chorus as accompanist in 2006. Our numbers have almost outgrown our rehearsal and concert space at the Mancos United Methodist Church. We present no less than four concerts each season and as many as six, and perform occasionally at special events.
The Chorus is an ever-growing musical family.
Kriss Larsen has been the proud Director of the Mancos Valley Chorus since the fall of 2000. Kriss holds a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from New England Conservatory in Boston, and a Master of Music degree in vocal performance from the University of Maryland. She has performed in a song and dance duo on Cape Cod, Massachusetts; performed and produced two one-woman cabaret shows in New York City; and currently sings standards from the 1930s and 40s to the jazz piano accompaniments of her partner, Tom MacCluskey, to benefit area arts organizations.
Kriss also directs the Women’s Prerogative in Durango, an eleven-voice women’s barbershop group. During the day, she is the Program Assistant for the Student Affairs Office at Fort Lewis College.
President: Terry Wells
Vice-President: Gloria Thatch-Woody
Secretary: Liz Cahill
Treasurer: Helen Looman