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Community and Fellowship at Milwaukee's Chant Claire Chamber Choir

Bonnie North

Five years ago, Ben Bedroske decided to create a chamber choir for people who don’t always sing in chamber choirs: recent college graduates. Thus the Chant Claire Chamber Choir was born. Now numbering 56, the choir gives its members a chance to keep their performing skills sharp and bond with a group of their peers. 

This focus on community was one of Bedroske's main motivations in creating the Chant Claire Chamber Choir. When he first came to Milwaukee after graduating from UW-Eau Claire, he had an opportunity to sing with the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus (MSC). Although he says his experience with the chorus was amazing, he felt somewhat isolated in the group of more than 100 singers. 

"What I was looking for was a really precise but robust sound, that also had a really vital community," Bedroske explains. "The MSC does great music - phenomenal music. But it's so large that I felt as a newcomer that there was a community there - clearly a lot of friends, a lot of people who had very significant connections with each other there, but I was one of over a hundred singers. So I thought something a little bit smaller." 

The Chant Claire Chamber Choir performing, "Wake Awake."

President Tim Backes says the group's intimate nature is what first attracted him to  Chant Claire and one the reasons he keeps coming back. 

"The big thing that really has drawn me to Chant Claire, and why I'm still with it and involved so actively with it to this day, is the focus on fellowship. I think it's a really big deal," says Backes. 

Chant Claire will give a holiday concert Saturday, December 16 at St. Marcus Lutheran Church on North Palmer Street just south of North Avenue.

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.