ABOUT

Bloomington Chorale Logo

Board of Directors

  • Tom Hebert – President
  • Donna Marien- Vice President
  • Judy Taves – Secretary
  • Mary Shriver – Treasurer
  • Kati Ritchie – Member-at-Large
  • Jim Hayenga – Member-At-Large
  • Luke Israel – Member-at-Large

Artistic Staff

Dr. David Donelson – Music Director

Dr. Donelson is a graduate of Bethel University (St. Paul, MN) and Bethel Theological Seminary where he earned a Master of Arts degree in sacred music. He earned a doctorate in higher education administration with a concentration in music education from Nova Southeastern University (Ft. Lauderdale, FL).

Career highlights for Dr. Donelson include:

  • Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Crown College receiving the Crown College Excellence in Teaching Award three times.
  • Professor of Music and Department Chair at Malone University (Canton, OH), being selected as a finalist for the Outstanding Educator Award.
  • Conducting the Salzburg (Austria) Cathedral Choir during the Salzburg Music Festival.
  • Conducting choirs on eleven European tours
  • Producing five recordings of his college ensembles.

Currently, Dr. Donelson is also on the staff at Wooddale Church of Eden Prairie where he conducts the 125 voice Wooddale Choir and Orchestra.

Elise Bombaro

Elise Bombaro – Accompanist, Piano

Elise Bombaro has been playing piano since she was in grade school.  She continued her piano studies at the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute.  She majored in violin performance at Temple University.  Elise earned her BA in piano performance at the University of Minnesota.  Elise performs with two local orchestras: The Health Science Orchestra of the University of MN and Dakota Valley Symphony where she usually plays first violin and accompanies the Dakota Valley Chorus.  In her free time Elise enjoys reading, playing scrabble with her husband Danny, and biking around town.

History

The Normandale Choral Society, founded in 1982 and incorporated in 1985, was directed by Dr. David Docter, Director of Choral Music at Normandale Community College. In 1996 Marc Jaros succeeded Dr. Docter as choral director through the Spring of 2003. At this time the group suddenly found itself without a home base, performance venue, director, accompanist or funding due to budget and program cuts at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota. What could have been the end of Bloomington’s non-audition mixed adult community chorus became instead a gift, the opportunity to reinvent and reenergize as the Bloomington Chorale.  The city was opening a new Civic Plaza in July of 2003 which included a Center for the Arts.  Perfect timing for the newly renamed Bloomington Chorale to join the other six community arts organizations in this beautiful new venue.

The goal that first year was just to survive.  The December 2003 concert, led by new director Steve Johnston, boasted 14 singers and 99 audience members.  The concert program consisted of music that could be borrowed from various members’ churches.

Today the Bloomington Chorale has grown to over fifty members and is directed by Dr. Dave Donalson. Performances at the Schneider theater include orchestra and piano accompaniment. Additional community performances are held at various venues throughout the year. There is a broad variety of music including traditional, spiritual, classical, pop and contemporary.  

Through the years, the Chorale has seen members form age 18 to over 80 and welcomes members from all walks of life, income levels, cultures and backgrounds.Together this is a community of singers who have fun learning and refining vocal technique and repertoire.