The mission of the Frederick Chorale, an auditioned mixed chorus that values artistic excellence, is to prepare and perform fine choral repertoire of diverse musical styles and to enrich the cultural life of the Frederick County community.
Introducing The Frederick Chorale
The Frederick Chorale was organized in 1977 to provide an outlet for talented area singers who wanted to learn and perform excellent choral music. The Chorale is known for the high caliber of its performances and its community involvement. The auditioned chorus has sung for many cultural, civic, and celebratory events in Frederick and further afield in Annapolis, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., England, Canada, and the Middle East, as well as at the White House and on the Today Show.
The group’s repertoire is wide: art songs and masterworks, classic American songs, Broadway songs, rock and roll, spirituals, and works by contemporary composers. It has collaborated with orchestras, dancers, military bands and choruses, flute choirs, children’s choirs, gospel groups, storytellers, and hand bell ensembles. Recently, the Chorale joined with actors to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in a unique program of dramatic scenes and songs set to Shakespeare’s words.
The Chorale has been an important contributor to its hometown of Frederick, Maryland, for 39 years. Music Director Douglas Cox, former assistant director and tenor soloist in the Soldiers' Chorus of the U.S. Army Field Band, continues the legacy of founding director Nancy Roblin, expertly guiding the group in its commitment to the musical, cultural, and spiritual life of Frederick.
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Douglas D. Cox - Music DirectorDirector's Message
Douglas D. Cox, Music Director, 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.
Mr. Cox has performed as soloist with the Cincinnati Pops, the London Symphony, and Naples Philharmonic Orchestras, under the direction of the late Maestro Erich Kunzel. He has also soloed with the Charlotte and Nashville Symphony Orchestras, under Maestro Albert-George Schram. Other notable collaborations were with the Boston Pops Orchestra, Keith Lockhart, conductor; the National Symphony Orchestra, Marvin Hamlisch, conductor; and the Richmond Symphony, with George Manahan on the podium.
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 music on three choral “legacy” CD recordings by the Soldiers’ Chorus: The Legacy of Randall Thompson (producer and conductor), The Legacy of Aaron Copland (produced), and The Legacy of Nadia Boulanger (produced).
Mr. Cox holds the Bachelor and Master of Music Education degrees from Wichita State University, and the Master of Arts in Arts Administration degree from Goucher College. His early mentors were Harrison Boughton, and Vernon Yenne. Later studies in voice with Thomas Houser, and in conducting with Don Neuen (UCLA & Crystal Cathedral), Axel Theimer (VoiceCare Network), Jon Washburn (Vancouver Chamber Choir), and the late 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. He also holds the position of Artistic Director of the Chester River Chorale, in Chestertown, MD.
Sammy Marshall - Accompanist
Sammy Marshall is a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Army. He served as pianist for the Soldiers' Chorus of The U.S. Army Field Band, Washington, D.C., for 12 years. In this position he performed with the London and National Symphony Orchestras, the Boston and Cincinnati Pops, and the symphonies of Phoenix, Nashville, Richmond, and New Haven. Conductors he has worked with include Erich Kunzel, Keith Lockhart, Albert-George Schram, and George Manahan. Prior to joining the military, Mr. Marshall maintained a rigorous accompanying schedule in some of the most elite voice studios in New York. Renowned teachers such as Cynthia Hoffman, Maitland Peters, and Metropolitan Opera greats Mignon Dunne, Gabor Corelli, Spiro Malas, and Nico Castel were his clientele. His choral accompanying collaborations include such conductors as Westin Noble, Paul Salamunovich, and James Jordan. Mr. Marshall is the Auditions and Support Group Leader for the U.S. Army Field Band.
Chip Handrich - Assistant Conductor
Chip Handrich, Assistant Conductor and tenor in the Chorale, brings over 35 years of church and community choral conducting experience to the Frederick Chorale, including serving as music director and conductor of the Wichita Choral Society. Chip holds a bachelor of music in voice education from Friends University, a master of music education from Wichita State University. He has also attended the Institute of Voice Performance Pedagogy at Oberlin Conservatory under Dr. Richard Miller and has completed levels 1 and 2 of Somatic VoiceworkSM The LoVetri Method at Shenandoah Conservatory.
He currently serves as Director of Music at First Baptist Church in Frederick, conductor of the Golden Tones of Frederick County, and conductor of the Buckingham’s Choice Singers. He and his wife Marcie have been members of the Chorale since 2007.