48 Years of Celebration in Song in Ferndale CA
The Victorian Village of Ferndale is found on the coast of Northern California in Humboldt County – five hours north of San Francisco when the roads are good. If you go much further past the town of 1,400, you’ll end up in Oregon.
Nearly 49 years ago, the wife of one of the two Lutheran pastors in town got a group of singers from both churches together to sing for a joint service at Christmas. They had so much fun, and so many others from the community wanted to join in, they sang again at Easter, and the Ferndale Community Choir was born.
Betty Diehl has been the Choir’s director since the inception, selecting a diverse program of sacred music for performances in the Spring and again at Christmas. The Choir sings ancient melodies, rousing spirituals, and modern works, making choral music accessible to concert-goers with unpretentious passion, great diction, and the joy of making music together.
Over the years, more than 500 people have put on green robes and yellow stoles to sing with the Choir. Every season 50 to 60 people of all different faiths – and of no faith – from 15 to 91 years old, from dairymen to doctors, and from seven different towns gather in Ferndale for rehearsals. We present three concerts of sacred music each Christmas and Spring at various venues in and out of Ferndale. Our music is described as “eclectic, electric choral music for the soul.”
The Choir had an amazing experience last year – a year of fundraising, of learning and loving the second and third parts of Handel’s “Messaiah,” and performing it with orchestra and 175 other singers from around the world at Carnegie Hall in New York City. We mourned the death of one of our members, bodacious bass Nathan Smith just before our trip, and remembered him even as we celebrated after the performance.
Click to read the thank you letter published by The Ferndale Enterprise just before our trip:
We’re putting together some videos and photos of our journey, which culminated in three Christmas concerts beginning less than a week after we returned home! For now . . . our gratitude for everyone’s help.
The choir is a non-profit 501(c)(3) and you will receive a receipt for tax purposes. You can check DCINY out here.
Thank you Ferndale, and all our supporters! We’ll keep you posted on our trip!