The South Shore Chorale began rehearsals in the fall of 1971 under the direction of Dr. Ray Wifler, music professor at the University of Wisconsin Center – Fond du Lac, for a performance of Mendelssohn's Elijah. Known as the Fond du Lac Community Choir for this first performance, the organization changed the name to Fond du Lac Oratorio Chorus for their second concert. Then in 2006, the name was changed to South Shore Chorale. The Chorale performs major choral works with orchestra two times each year - in December and spring.
The Chorale has taken performance tours three times: New York (2001), England/Scotland (2014), and Canada (2018).
Since its inception the Chorale has performed choral works including Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Haydn’s Mass in Time of War, Handel’s Messiah, Vaughan Williams Hodie, Rutter’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Mass in C Major, Haydn’s Creation, Brahms’ German Requiem, Bach’s Jesu, Priceless Treasure, Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Barnett's The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass, Beethoven's A Choral Fantasy, and Faure’s Requiem. While major choral works performed with an orchestra is a major component of the organization, we have performed many other choral octavos by great choral composers.
Dr. Ray Wifler (1971-1972)
John Bauerlein (1972-1973)
Alan Lemery (1973-2005)
Cory Schneider (2005-present)
Who is the South Shore Chorale?
We are Fond du Lac’s largest volunteer choral ensemble (no audition required to join). We average between 130-150 singers each semester.
We perform two major concerts each year (December and April/May). Many of our concerts are performed with semi professional full orchestra and professional guest soloists.
We welcome singers from all generations (high school – experienced), and all walks of life (doctors, lawyers, homemakers, teachers, secretaries, etc.) to perform with our Chorale.
We embrace our rich sacred tradition (FDL Oratorio Chorus), but are building to the future through a recent name change (South Shore Chorale) to offer a wider variety of concerts including including all genres of music.
We combine with other ensembles in the Fond du Lac area such as the Fond du Lac Children’s Chorale, Fond du Lac High School and the Fond du Lac Symphonic Band.
Fond du Lac county high school students are encouraged to sing with the chorale as part of the High School Choral Scholars program.
We regularly perform for full houses in the best acoustic venues in Fond du Lac such as: Fond du Lac High School's Performing Arts Center, historic St. Paul's Cathedral, and St. Patrick's Concert Hall.