The Thiel Choir was founded in 1953 by Dr. Marlowe W. Johnson. The choir developed international stature under his direction and toured extensively in North America and Europe. Six CDs of the choirs from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s are now available for purchase. The fine vocal music tradition that was begun continues at Thiel College in Greenville, Pa., to this day under the current direction of Dr. Michael Bray.
Prior to Dr. Johnson's retirement, a group of Thiel College alumni began meeting to relive their experiences in the Thiel Choir. Informal rehearsals began in the homes of different alumni. It was a great opportunity to make new friends and maintain the interest and skills in vocal music that were first developed in us by the Thiel Choir. It soon became obvious that the group wanted to do more than sit around the parlor and sing the oldies. Under the dirction of Dale Hesse '73, the group began performing at weddings and other church and college-related events. We knew we had come of age when we performed a set at the 30th reunion of the Thiel Choir. The Thiel Alumni Choir, as it has come to be known, was born!
With Dale Hesse directing and a changing cast of characters organizing, the Thiel Alumni Choir has continued to provide an outlet for its members to the present date. A major portion of the group provided the core for overseas tours to Eastern Europe and Wales. We did reinvent ourselves in 1996 by convincing Dr. Johnson to leave retirement and direct the alumni choir. Since his involvement, the group has grown in number, including several recent graduates. With nearly 50 members spanning the years from 1955 to 1997, the Thiel Alumni Choir stands as a testament to the positive influence a small liberal arts, sciences and professional studies college can have on its graduates.
We now meet to rehearse at 3 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month at Perry Highway Lutheran Church in Wexford, Pa. An annual concert of the Alumni Choir is now a tradition of the Thiel College Homecoming activities. A limited number of additional concerts will be considered as time and schedules permit. We are pleased to be a small part of the continuing tradition of vocal music at Thiel College.
We welcome any singer who is willing to spend the time in rehearsals and wants to be a part of a great choral tradition. For more information about the Thiel Alumni Choir, please contact: