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Orcas Choral Society Artistic Director stepping down

  • Written by Julie Rusby for the Orcas Choral Society

The Orcas Choral Society board of directors wishes to announce that Marianne Lewis has resigned from her role as artistic director. We have truly enjoyed singing with Marianne and appreciate her tremendous devotion to the choir. We hope that her decision will lead to new opportunities for herself and for our singing community. We are now actively seeking a new artistic director.

“I love choral music and have loved making music together with all of you,” Marianne Lewis noted, “Our time together has left me with many wonderful memories, some of which are high points in my musical career.”

Marianne has been a part of the Orcas Choral Society for many years. Prior to becoming artistic director, Marianne accompanied the choir on harpsichord and organ for several concerts, including such works as Bach’s Coffee Cantata, Faure’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, and Bach’s B Minor Mass. In fall of 2016 she became artistic director and led the choir in a holiday concert and spring concert each year, treasuring the collaborations with accompanying musicians – the Skyros Quartet, Turtleback Brass, Martin Lund, and other remarkable local musicians. Working with composer Morten Lauridsen for the Spring 2018 concert was a highlight for her.

“Marianne is a terrific choral conductor, and we are grateful for her leadership,” said Lynn Baker, OCS board president, “We’ll miss her!”

The Orcas Choral Society has stayed strong during the pandemic and under Marianne’s creative leadership we offered some singing events that enabled singers and community members to stay safe. The choir has reached out using computer resources for meetings and independent rehearsals with Choral Tracks. This past winter we performed on the Village Green stage and led caroling with the community as part of the Christmas tree lighting ceremony. On May Day Marianne conducted the choir in an open rehearsal of spring themed songs at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church labyrinth.

The Orcas Choral Society currently has 45 members and many alumni living on the island. Our motto is “Sharing Music is Our Passion”. We are very grateful for those who have supported us with their time, knowledge, and funds, particularly during these past challenging few years.

“Since we love to sing, and more importantly, love to sing together in harmony, we are seeking an artistic director to lead us forward, keep us singing, and help us to share our passion for music with others,” said Cynthia Abolin, OCS board member.

If you are interested in this position, please contact Cynthia Abolin at orcasmezzo@gmail.com or (360) 376-4355 .


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