Voices wanted for special holiday concert: Lakes Area Chorale to start rehearsals Nov. 6 in Detroit Lakes

There were about 50 members in this longstanding Detroit Lakes area community choir last year, and this year the board would like to have even more. All experience levels are welcome.

Director Barb Schramm leads the 2019 Lakes Area Chorale during a rehearsal at First Lutheran Church in Detroit Lakes. The group will resume rehearsals at the church on Nov. 6 at 1:30 p.m., with participants set to perform at a special holiday concert on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 4 p.m.
Detroit Lakes Tribune File Photo

DETROIT LAKES — The Lakes Area Chorale is back: After being silenced by COVID-19 safety concerns for more than two and a half years, the local community choir is set to resume rehearsals next month at Detroit Lakes' United Methodist Church.

"We're going to have a 'Holly Jolly Holiday Concert' on Dec. 18," said the chorale's director, Barbara Schramm, adding that those who are interested in taking part in the holiday event only have to commit to six rehearsals, as well as the concert itself. "We're going to start out kind of easy, to get the enthusiasm and momentum going again."

Rehearsals will start Sunday, Nov. 6 at 1:30 p.m. in the First Lutheran Church sanctuary, with official registration getting underway one half-hour earlier, at 1 p.m. Additional sessions will be held on Nov. 13, 20 and 27 as well as Dec. 4, all at 1:30 p.m. in the same location. The Dec. 11 rehearsal will take place at the same time, but in a different location.

"We'll be meeting at Christian Fellowship Church on Dec. 11, due to a conflict with the Lakes Area Community Concert Band, which is scheduled to hold its Christmas concert at First Lutheran that same day," Schramm said.

The final dress rehearsal for the Dec. 18 concert will be held at First Lutheran, on the day of the event. The rehearsal will start at 1:30 p.m., with the concert to follow immediately after, at 4 p.m.


Accompanied by pianist April Spaeth, the chorale members will rehearse en masse for a total of four songs, while those who are interested in learning more are being offered the opportunity to sing an additional three, small ensemble pieces. All seven songs will be performed at the concert on Dec. 18.

No singing experience is necessary: "Everyone can sing," Schramm said, adding, "If you don't believe that, then come to rehearsals. I've never been proved wrong."

Each rehearsal will last approximately two hours. The one-time registration fee is $15 per person, payable at the start of the Nov. 6 rehearsal, to help defray the cost of sheet music and other supplies. For more information, contact Schramm at 218-443-0697 (call or text), or send an email to .

Third time's the charm

After the holiday concert, the chorale will take a break, then resume weekly rehearsals in January to prepare for a spring 2023 concert. The theme is "Rock, Soul and Gospel," which may be familiar to those who have participated in the chorale in the past.

"Our last group rehearsal was on March 15, 2020, and we were working on the same program that we will be using for this next year," she said.

Schramm noted that it will be the third try for bringing this concert to the public, as they were set to begin rehearsals for it back in January of this year, before safety concerns called a halt to their plans once again. She doesn't anticipate similar concerns to impede their plans for this coming year, however.

A reporter at Detroit Lakes Newspapers since relocating to the community in October 2000, Vicki was promoted to Community News Lead for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus on Jan. 1, 2022. She has covered pretty much every "beat" that a reporter can be assigned, from county board and city council to entertainment, crime and even sports. Born and raised in Madelia, Minnesota, she is a graduate of Hamline University, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature (writing concentration). You can reach her at
What To Read Next
Get Local