The Society is managed by the following executive. Our 30 members are involved in approving the overall direction, the annual business plan and the budget. Our Annual General Meeting is held annually in March.
Director of Men's Chorus
The Men’s Chorus is directed by Marcia Katzmar, a newcomer to Canada from Oregon who has a rich history with choral conducting and vocal instruction.
The Men’s Chorus is accompanied on piano by Pamela Whiston, a longstanding and recognized pianist. We’re sorry to say that she is moving to BC and that we are recruiting for a new accompanist. Anyone interested can contact us (see the contact us page). Pay will be commensurate with experience.
Director of Bells in Harmony
The Bells in Harmony are directed by Brent Orchard, a long-standing first tenor soloist and a carpenter at an industrial plant in Fort Saskatchewan.
Approaching 60 members have contributed to the group’s success over the years.
After 39 years the group has moved to Sherwood Park, Alberta , just east of Edmonton, and our new home is Trinity Baptist Church. It became apparent that we had to move to a larger population centre in order to reach our growth goals. In due course, we’ll be changing our name . Stay tuned! But back to the beginning.
The Men’s Chorus began in 1979, with the encouragement of Erv Miller and Denis Fjestad, two fellows who shared the ministry at the Josephburg United Church of Christ. The hymnal was the source of the music. The original singers were from the village of Josephburg and the surrounding area. Josephburg is 8 kilometers east of Fort Saskatchewan which, in turn, is 20 minutes northeast of Edmonton.
In 1983 the handbell choir, the Belles in Harmony, was formed with the generous donation of 2 octaves of handbells from the Strohlein family. Some of the original ringers were married to men in the Chorus.
The group went from wondering why people wanted to listen to us to eagerly responding to requests for concerts. Our passion for giving back to the community grew as we sang and rang in seniors’ homes, schools, at community events, correctional institutions (yes, remand centres and prisons) and by sharing the revenues for paid/ticketed concerts with our hosts.
Specialty groups from within the Society have enriched our history at various times and we have supported other local Alberta talent by inviting them to perform with us.
And our love for travelling was also born. We’ve performed in over 150 communities, largely in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan travelling mostly by bus; but combined fly-in & bus tours were also organized for the Maritimes, Ontario, Arizona and Minnesota, Wisconsin & North Dakota.
From our roots in sacred music our repertoire has shifted to embrace more secular music (theatre, show tunes, modern, country) and we’ve learned that our audiences appreciate a little humour along the way.
The combination of a men’s chorus, handbell choir, a diverse repertoire and guest performers enables us to regularly organize two hour concerts.
We are currently practicing with 24 men, an increase from 16, a direct result of moving into Sherwood Park. We currently perform with 10 handbell ringers but would welcome a few more “ringers in-training”. The handbells have grown to 4 octaves and the bells have been augmented with 3 octaves of chimes.
Members now come from Edmonton, Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan and the surrounding area.
Our mission statement sums up what we’re about.
The Josephburg Choral Society provides music of high quality to people of all ages and backgrounds for the enjoyment of performing, for travel, to meet people, to develop friendships and for personal & family development.