The Lebanon County Choral Society will begin rehearsals on February 5 in preparation for their May 19 concert, “Coronation.” Singers in ninth grade through adult are invited to join the adult chorus, while those in third through eighth grades are welcome in the youth chorus.

“I am very excited to get started with rehearsals,” said artistic director Sean Hackett. “The centerpiece of the program is Mozart’s
Krönungsmesse, with the balance of the program liberally cribbed from coronation of King Charles, including Handel’s ‘Zadok the Priest’ and Parry’s ‘I Was Glad.’ Our December concert was a rousing success, and I would love to have even more singers and audience members at our spring performance.”

Rehearsals are held on Monday evenings at Hebron United Methodist Church, 451 E. Walnut St., Lebanon. The youth rehearse from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., while the adults meet from 7:30 to 9:15 p.m. The first two rehearsals are “open” so that interested singers can try out the group without a commitment. Modest dues are payable at the third rehearsal, and waivers are available for financial hardship.

The choral society recently announced the hiring of a new director for their youth chorus; Gabrielle Quandel Umholtz will begin rehearsals with the ensemble at the start of the season. “We’re thrilled to have Mrs. Quandel Umholtz join our organization. She’s extremely qualified and very enthusiastic about the possibilities for the youth chorus and our other educational outreach programs in the community,” said Hackett.

Umholtz holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a master’s degree in Choral Conducting, both from Messiah University. She teaches in the Ephrata Area School District where she serves as the high school choir director. Additional experience includes an internship with the Susquehanna Children’s Chorale under Linda Tedford and Judith Shepler.

Gabrielle Quandel Umholtz, Youth Chorus Director.

“Nothing unites and instills a common thread of hope among a diverse group of people quite like music,” said Umholtz. “I’m truly thrilled and honored at the opportunity to cultivate a community of positivity through singing as the director of the Lebanon County Choral Society Youth Chorus. It is my hope that young people who love to sing of all levels will join this ensemble and help shape the future of tomorrow with the words sung today.”

LCCS Youth Chorus, May 2023.

The previous youth chorus director, Karen Umberger, retired from the position last year. She dedicated many years of service to the youth chorus and the Lebanon County Choral Society as a whole and remains with the organization as the accompanist for the adult chorus.

Founded in 1889, the Lebanon County Choral Society has a long tradition of bringing quality choral music to the Lebanon area. In the past decades they have expanded their mission to include a youth chorus, a free music day camp, and a young conductors’ program, all while continuing and enhancing the legacy of excellent choral performances by the adult chorus, the foundation of the organization. While centered in Lebanon County, the group includes singers from as far east as Robesonia and as far west as Palmyra and Hershey.