The Frederick Chorale, an auditioned chamber chorus of 60 voices, celebrates its 36th year as a major performing ensemble. Retired director Nancy Roblin, an accomplished organist and choral conductor, founded the Chorale in 1977 to provide an outlet for talented area singers who wanted to study and perform great choral music from all periods. In April 2012, following a magnificent Earth Day Concert and reception, Ms. Roblin announced her retirement; in her honor, the Nancy Roblin Chorale Sustaining Fund was established to provide continued support for the Chorale for years to come. Following an intensive director search and audition process, the Chorale selected Douglas D. Cox as its new artistic director. A conductor, singer, and producer, Mr. Cox is currently the artistic director of the Chester River Chorale and has been assistant conductor and tenor vocalist with the Soldier's Chorus of the U.S. Army Field Band.
The Chorale has distinguished itself by the high caliber of its performances of masterworks and by combing visual and theatrical elements with choral singing to enhance the audience's experience. The Chorale’s original and unique Madrigal Feastes, elaborate dinner theaters set in Queen Elizabeth’s Court, have attracted national attention among choral conductors. Chorus members have become adept at writing, staging, costuming, and producing Feastes and also special multi-media community events, such as Milestones, for Frederick City's 250th Anniversary celebration; Patchworks, for Frederick County's 250th Anniversary celebration; and special Civil War presentations - all of which presented a scripted montage of vocal and instrumental music, costumes, dance, slide show, sets, and re-enactors from the community representing different periods of local history. The Chorale has also been part of many community events such as the Kris Kringle Parade, the Frederick County Open House and Holiday Church Tour, the Frederick County New Citizen's naturalization Ceremony, the Frederick City Fourth of July Celebration in Baker Park, the Frederick Community Foundation Awards Dinner, and the Frederick Keys games.
The Chorale has given hundreds of other performances, including concerts at The Walter's Art Gallery, the National Cathedral, the National Shrine, Westmoreland Church, Cedar Lane Church, and Bruton Parish in Colonial Williamsburg. The Chorale has been a featured chorus for the American Chorale Directors' Association and the Maryland State Legislature's Prayer Breakfasts in Annapolis. The Chorale has performed on national television on the Today Show, and has also been honored with two invitations to sing at The White House Presidential Christmas Receptions. In the summer of 1996 The Chorale was invited by the Washington Camerata Nuove to join them in an extraordinary Concert for Peace Tour in the Middle East. There, the combined groups sang Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in Jordan, and also performed in Bethlehem and Jerusalem. The group has also performed on concert tours of England and Scotland in 2000, and in Montreal and Quebec, Canada, in 2003, and Vancouver and Victori, in 2006.
The Chorale has performed many major works with professional instrumentalists. These include the Mozart's Requiem; Brahm's German Requiem; Handel's Messiah, Israel in Egypt and the Dettingen Te Deum; Mendelssohn's Elijah; Vaughan Williams' Dona Nobis Pacem; Bach's Magnificat, Jesu Meine Freude, and B Minor Mass; and the Faure Requiem. The Chorale has also sponsored numerous open-to-the-public workshops and guest performances with great musicians and conductors. These included Ward Swingle of the Swingle Singers, Jeremy Jackman of the King's Singers, Dr. Elaine Brown of Philadelphia's Singing City Chorus, Allen Lannom of Boston's Masterwork's Chorale, and Dr. Nathan Carter of Morgan State Choir.
The Frederick Chorale is available in full chorus or small ensembles for special concerts at private parties, weddings, or organizational events. The Chorale can also provide a partial or complete Madrigal Feaste for private individuals, corporations, or associations. To schedule a concert or request further information, email info@FrederickChorale.org or call 301-662-8506.
Douglas Cox brings a wealth of experience to the Frederick Chorale as a conductor, singer, and producer. As Assistant Conductor and a tenor vocalist with the Soldiers’ Chorus of The U.S. Army Field Band, Mr. Cox toured nationally throughout the continental United States, and internationally in Canada, Mexico, Europe and the Far East.
Under the direction of the late Maestro Erich Kunzel, Mr. Cox performed as soloist with the Cincinnati Pops and the London Symphony and Naples Philharmonic Orchestras. With Maestro Albert-George Schram he was soloist with the Charlotte and Nashville Symphony Orchestras. Other notable collaborations were with Keith Lockhart, Boston Pops Orchestra; Marvin Hamlisch, National Symphony Orchestra; and George Manahan, Richmond Symphony.
For 15 years Mr. Cox led the Field Band’s premier eight-voice Vocal Arts Ensemble, specializing in virtuosic a cappella repertoire of the Euro-American traditions. He has produced and conducted three choral “legacy” CD recordings by the Soldiers’ Chorus: The Legacy of Randall Thompson (producer and conductor), The Legacy of Aaron Copland (choral works), and The Legacy of Nadia Boulanger. Mr. Cox currently holds the position of Artistic Director of the Chester River Chorale, in Chestertown, MD.
His early mentors were James Kimmel, Harrison Boughton, and Vernon Yenne. Later studies in voice with Thomas Houser, and in conducting with Don Neuen (UCLA), Axel Theimer (VoiceCare Network), Jon Washburn (Vancouver Chamber Choir), and Paul Salamunovich (Los Angeles Master Chorale) have enriched his formal music education. When combined with his long and varied performing career, Mr. Cox has cultivated a broad expertise in the choral arts and its communicative power.
Mr. Cox transitioned from military service at the rank of Sergeant Major, the highest Army enlisted grade. His military awards include the Legion of Merit, three Meritorious Service Medals, four Army Commendation Medals, and five Army Achievement Medals. He resides in Catonsville, Maryland with his wife, soprano Janet Hjelmgren, also a Sergeant Major and former member of the Soldiers’ Chorus.