The Central Chamber Chorale was organized in 1971 by Dr. Jerry Schroeder, music instructor at the
University of Wisconsin-Marshfield/Wood County (now UWSP at Marshfield). A small core of Marshfield and Wisconsin Rapids singers performed the first concert. Other Central Wisconsin residents from Medford, Curtiss, Auburndale, Spencer, Stratford, Neillsville, Pittsville and Owen have subsequently joined the Chorale at various times. The current director, Dr. Richard Brunson, is the 8th since the group’s inception.
The Central Chamber Chorale presents major choral literature, sacred and secular, accompanied and
unaccompanied, from all musical periods, for Central Wisconsin communities. Two concert series are
performed each year---fall and spring. The two regular sites for each concert series are Wisconsin Rapids and Marshfield with a third site alternating between Abbottsford and Medford. Membership is by audition. Rehearsals are on Tuesday evenings at the UWSP at Marshfield. The size of the group has varied from 25 to 50 singers who come from a wide variety of ages, backgrounds and
musical experiences. But when these different people come together it is to learn not only the notes and
rhythms, but to strive for the heart of the musical message. This is the joy the Chorale hopes to bring to
singers and listeners alike.
Highlights from the Chorale’s history include an American Bicentennial concert with guest conductor,
Robert DeCormeir; a performance at the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association convention; and several broadcasts on Wisconsin Public Radio. Larger works performed by the group (some with orchestra and guest soloists) have included Bach’s Sing Ye to the Lord, Cantata #4 and Mass in b minor; Mozart’s Regina Coeli, Requiem, Missa brevis in F; Hayden’s Creation; Honegger’s King David; Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb; Vaughn Williams’ Mass in g minor; Pinkham’s Wedding Cantata; Copland’s In the Beginning; Rutter’s Gloria; Forrest’s Requiem for the Living. Additionally, a myriad of shorter choralpieces from the Renaissance through the 20th century have found their places in Chorale programs.
The Chorale celebrates its 48th anniversary this year.
Support for Central Chamber Chorale comes through an annual fund drive in November, voluntary
membership contributions and audience donations at concerts. An endowment fund provides additional funding and grant applications are frequently made to help fund special activities. It has been Chorale policy never to charge admission, thus making our concerts accessible to anyone who wishes to attend.
In-kind support includes most concert sites and rehearsal space at UWSP at Marshfield.
Richard Brunson, Director
Richard Brunson, D.M.A. currently holds the position of Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point at Marshfield, where he conducts the Orchestra, Symphonic Band, and Concert Choir, teaches Freshman and Sophomore music major core classes, conducting, and music appreciation. He also serves as the Music Department Chair, and substitutes regularly in the La Crosse Symphony horn section. In 2016, Richard was appointed as the choir director at Faith Lutheran Church in Marshfield. He assumed the directorship of Central Chamber Chorale in Fall 2017.
Mika Brunson, Accompanist
Mika Brunson, M.M. is a member of the Las Vegas Philharmonic (3rd oboe/English horn), a position she won in 2006. She is also a member of the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra (2nd oboe/English horn) and was the co-winner of the June 2013 audition for the 2nd oboe/English horn position with the La Crosse Symphony, with which she performs regularly. During Summer 2015, Mika played oboe and English horn with the New Hampshire Music Festival in Plymouth, NH. She also subs with the Wisconsin Philharmonic in Waukesha, WI.
Mika is a sought-after accompanist for solo and ensemble festivals, recitals and auditions in the Central Wisconsin area. In addition to her performing, accompanying and private studio, Mika teaches Aural Skills, Music Appreciation and Group Piano at the University of Wisconsin - Marshfield/Wood County.
Mika plans to finish her licensure as an Andover Educator(teacher of Body Mapping) as soon as possible.