BRANCH COUNTY COMMUNITY CHORUS
The Branch County Community Chorus is a non-auditioned, mixed ensemble whose members are drawn from Coldwater and the surrounding areas. This ensemble seeks to explore repertoire not accessible to the average church choir. A wide range of choral music is prepared for performance in the Branch County area.
If you enjoy singing and are looking for a pleasant atmosphere in which to experience challenging choral literature, this is the choir for you! Everyone is welcome in this ensemble, which can be taken for enrichment or for academic credit. You may register online or visit the Grahl Center campus in Coldwater to register.
The chorus accepts new singers, normally at the start of preparations for a new concert series. If you are interested in joining, please call the director Dr. Gerald J. Case-Blanchard at 269-965-3931 ext. 2566 to learn more about the BCCC and to schedule a vocal placement interview.
Rehearsals are held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, September through May, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 27 E. Chicago, Coldwater. Any singer willing to commit to a weekly rehearsal schedule and is willing to learn is welcome to join.
- Dr. Gerald Case-Blanchard, Artistic Director
- Nancy D. Brown, Principal Accompanist
- Kathy Cary, Organ Soloist
- Lucinda Wakeman, Uniform Coordinator
- Martha Watson, Facebook Coordinator
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The Branch County Community Chorus was founded in Fall 2001 by Mr. Deric Craig, the former director of vocal music at KCC (2001-04).
Since its founding, the BCCC consistently provided the Branch County community and beyond with the highest-quality performances in the choral arts. Our current director, Dr. Gerald Case-Blanchard took over the artistic leadership during the summer of 2004. Under his direction, the choir has greatly expanded its repertoire to include not only the traditional classical repertoire of Bach, Handel, Mozart and others, but has expanded the repertoire to include jazz, show-choir music, world music, spirituals, opera choruses and musical theatre.
Beyond the expansion of musical repertoire, Dr. Case-Blanchard and the ensemble has established a number of musical relationships throughout the state with such notable organizations as the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra, the Battle Creek Master Singers, the Monroe Community Chorale and Orchestra and the Kalamazoo Festival of Sacred Music (among a host of others). Dr. Case-Blanchard has made it his mission to provide a safe space for all who wish to participate in the choral arts.
During the 2006-07 season, the BCCC instituted its semi-annual choral touring program. Since its inception, the choir has toured both nationally and internationally, presenting concerts in Michigan, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana and Ohio. In Summer 2012, the choir embarked on its inaugural European tour, presenting concerts in Dublin, Cork and Malahide, Ireland. In Summer 2014 the choir returned to Europe, presenting concerts in Rome as well as in cities and towns along the Amalfi Coast of Italy. In Summer 2025 the ensemble will embark on its third European concert tour.
BCCC membership finds commonality in the dedication to learning and performing history’s best choral offerings. The BCCC has something for all who love the choral arts. We are a community of folks who simply love to sing. Come join in on the fun!
How to Join
There is no “formal” audition to join the BCCC. However, we do ask that you come to the first rehearsal with an open mind and a willingness to learn. We also ask that you call 269-965-3931 ext. 2566 to schedule a vocal assessment with our director, Dr. Gerald Case-Blanchard.
This assessment may occur in advance of your first rehearsal or immediately following.
In order to be considered for membership with the choir, you must:
- Be accepted by the director for membership.
- Register for membership through Kellogg Community College. If you are in the Coldwater area, please contact the Grahl Center campus KCC for registration information at 517-278-3300. The registration fee is $50 per semester. When registering, please use the registration code MUSI C104. If you maintain an active membership for two consecutive semesters, you may be eligible for a performing arts grant at the end of the spring season, providing all qualifications are met.
- Be able to read music at a basic level.
- Be able to sing in tune and hold pitch independently.
- Most importantly: Have a love for music.
No prior professional experience or formal musical training is necessary.
There are two options for registering for the BCCC.
Registration Option 1
You may complete and mail in the registration form with your $50 payment, or provide credit card information. Checks need to be made out to Kellogg Community College in the amount of $50. You may print and hand write the registration form, or you may fill it out electronically, save, print, sign and mail the completed form to:
Kellogg Community College
450 North Ave.
Battle Creek, MI 49017
Registration Option 2
Register and pay online with your K-ID and password.
The following are the guiding principles of the Branch County Community Chorus:
- Perform a wide variety of choral repertoire.
- Build public interest in the choral arts.
- Create new opportunities for performance by community members.
- Inspire, motivate and celebrate musical fellowship among singers.
- Provide performance opportunities, both domestic and international.
BCCC members should sign in on their section attendance sheet at each rehearsal (Kellogg Community College students must sign in at the end of rehearsal). Please call 269-965-3931 ext. 2566 or email [email protected] as soon as you know that you will miss a rehearsal. Missing more than five rehearsals will require the director’s permission to continue. If you often need to arrive late or leave early, please discuss your situation with the director in advance.
For Members Joining for Academic Credit
Students are allowed three absences from class during the semester. No excuse is needed for these absences. After that, any unexcused absence takes 10% off the student’s final grade with the following exception: Any student missing six classes for any reason will be asked to withdraw. No absence is excused the week before or of a performance. Concert attendance is mandatory. An excused absence is one where the instructor has been contacted previously and approved it, or a doctor’s excuse is provided. Lateness of any kind will take 5% off the student’s daily attendance points. The instructor will always endeavor to release class on time.
Need to Know Information
- Rehearsals start at 6:30 p.m. sharp. Please arrive on time, with your score and pencil ready.
- We only have a short time to prepare for our concerts, therefore there is limited talking during rehearsal. A 10-minute break will be given for the opportunity for you to fellowship. Also remember, 6 to 6:30 p.m. is a social period.
- We have a five-minute vocal warm-up and a 10-minute break. Members are provided with practice MP3 or web links to aid in musical preparations. You are expected to practice outside of rehearsals to learn your parts.
If you cannot attend a rehearsal, please call 269-965-3931 ext. 2566, or email [email protected].