About Prescott Chorale

Our Mission...

The mission of Prescott Chorale is to inspire our audiences through the joyful performance of choral masterpieces.

Historical Highlights Of Our Seasons...

Prescott Chorale presented our first season, 2015-2016, to rave reviews following a stellar performance of the Maurice Duruflé Requiem accompanied by renowned organist Ty Woodward.

Our 2016-2017 season became more expansive with the Johannes Brahms Alto Rhapsody and the Johann Adolf Hasse Messe in d minor. The Hasse work was re-discovered by Dr. David Wilson, teacher, scholar and conductor, Professor Emeritus from the Thornton School of Music at USC and a friend of the Prescott Chorale. In May, the Chorale celebrated the genius of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and added an additional performance to showcase both his Solemn Vespers, AND, the Requiem.

The 2017-18 led off with the Chorale performing works, in Russian, by noted composers like Rachmaninoff, Tschesnokoff, and several contemporary composers from the region. In April, the Chorale closed with a glorious presentation of Josef Rheinberger’s, Mass in C Major, op. 69; our three Young Artist Competition scholarship winners performances; the concert closed with Rene Clausen’s Memorial to the victims of September 11, 2001.

That summer, the Prescott Chorale reprised Hasse’s Messe in d minor, taking it to Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden, Wroclaw and Prague. Dr. Wilson returned to Wroclaw to conduct the Chorale in the birthplace of Johann Hasse, almost 50 years after discovering and beginning the reconstruction of Hasse’s score. Before departure, our local audience was treated to a performance of all the music the Chorale was taking on tour.

The 2018-19 season opened with an all Bach concert, a mini-festival as it were, in collaboration with the new Arizona Philharmonic Orchestra featuring J.S. Bach’s Magnificat. The spring concert showcased works by French composers Gabriel Fauré and Camille Saint-Saëns, as well as standout performances by winners of the Chorale’s third Young Artists competition.

Beginning the 2019-2020 season, the Prescott Chorale once again ventured out to perform a lesser known work, the Symphony of Psalms by Igor Stravinsky, a complex and somewhat “dark” piece. It was paired with Brahm’s Liebeslieder Walzer. The April 2020 concert was programed to bring the Prescott Chorale’s fifth season to a close with a performance of contemporary composer Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living. However, due to the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chorale suspended its performances and intends to re-open in October 2021 with this work.

Artistic Director

Dennis Houser has been in professional music for over 50 years as a music educator, performer, and conductor. His experiences include conducting the Master Chorale of Yavapai College, the Pacific Chorale, and the Orange County Master Chorale, plus guest conducting throughout the United States and in other countries. Houser has been featured as guest soloist with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, Pacific Chorale, William Hall Chorale, Orange County Master Chorale, plus numerous other guest artist appearances. Houser has served as guest clinician in over 200 music festivals nationwide.

He currently serves as Choirmaster of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Prescott and is the founding and current Artistic Director of the Prescott Chorale.

Assistant Director

JJacob Gilbert, a native of Andrews, North Carolina, received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. While in college, he studied voice, piano, and organ. He currently serves as the Director of Music Ministries at Prescott United Methodist Church in Prescott, Arizona, and is the Assistant Director of the Prescott Chorale.

Jacob has been a part of numerous choirs around the United States including the Bel Canto Company, Josquin de Prez Chamber Ensemble, Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall, NAfME Honors Choir, and the ACDA Honors Choir. He is a member of NAfME, ACDA, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Accompanist

Mark Achuff has been a church musician his whole life and was the organist/pianist at one church for 42 years. He has extensive experience accompanying church and other choral groups. As a teenager, Mark performed with the West End Symphony on “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” Mark loves to work with choral groups and to be part of wonderful teams such as the Prescott Chorale.

Accompanist

Margaret’s 5O-year music career encompasses many facets: piano performance, collaborative piano, choral conducting, vocal coaching, private piano instruction and classroom music instruction.

As a conductor she has led the Music Ministries of several churches in Southern California, and was a full-time conductor at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, where she directed the Cathedral Chorale. As a collaborative pianist, Margaret has worked with many well-known conductors, including Helmut Rilling, Robert Craft, Gerard Schwartz, and David Thorsen. She has serve on the music faculties of Cerritos Community College, Vanguard University o Southern California, and Orange Coast College. She was also on the Accompanying Staff of Aspen Summer Music Festival, where she worked with the classes of Dorothy Dulay, violin, Per Brevig, trombone, and Gerard Schwartz, trumpet.

Margaret earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Tennessee and California State University Fullerton, respectively.

In 2016 Margaret and her husband Fred left Southern California to retire in the Prescott area. For several years since then she accompanied the Prescott Chorale under the direction of Dennis Houser and the Camerata Chamber Singers under the direction of Jim Klein. Currently she serves as pianist at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.Houck

Prescott Chorale Organization
& Board of Directors

Pictured left to right: Robin Berry, Sandy Johnson, Dennis Houser, Greg Stillwell, Dana Wingate, Craig Burns, Kay Houser, Richard Lassiter
Not pictured: Jacob Gilbert, John Euson, John Agan, Helen Highberger
Photo by Christopher Marchetti

Dennis Houser, Artistic Director
Jacob Gilbert, Assistant Director
Robin Berry, Administrative Assistant

Board Officers
Dana Wingate, President
Sandy Johnson, Vice President
Kay Wood-Houser, Secretary

Board Directors
Robin Berry
Craig Burns
John Euson
Helen Highberger
Richard Lassiter
Greg Stillwell

You can make a difference

Support the Prescott Chorale and help bring incredible vocal music to our community!