On May 15, 2024
Arts, Dining & Entertainment

‘Darkness & Light,’ a live concert performance by Upper Valley Voices, formerly Thetford Chamber Singers, held  in Strafford this Sunday

Courtesy Upper Valley Voices— Upper Valley Voices, established in 1978, will perform a live concert in Strafford, Sunday May 19 at 7 p.m. addressing darkness and encouraging healing light, with Matthew Wiencke as accompanist.

Sunday, May 19, at 7 p.m.—STRAFFORD—The Upper Valley Voices (formerly the Thetford Chamber Singers) is holding a May concert at United Church of Strafford, 232 Justin Morrill Memorial Hwy, Strafford. It will be an evening of music that addresses the darkness of our times and offers a call to manifest our own healing light.


The Upper Valley Voices was formerly called the Thetford Chamber Singers (TCS).  This group was organized in the fall of 1978 by founding director Valerie Miller. The first meeting brought more than 20 singers, far too many for the space available in her home. The Thetford Elementary School was approached and agreed to allow the group to use space at the school for rehearsal. Their first musical performance was a combined effort with the Parish Players at the Thetford Grange in which the chorus sang chants and madrigals. That same fall, the First Congregational Church of Thetford gave permission for the group to use the church as its official performance “home”. In January 1979, the group was formally organized as a non-profit organization named The Thetford Chamber Singers and Children’s Chorus. With the help of Elizabeth Ballard, connections were made at the Dartmouth Music Department, which very generously allowed the group access to their choral library for research and borrowing. The children’s chorus eventually became a part of the regular school program at Thetford Elementary School. Bylaws for The Thetford Chamber Singers were adopted in 1989 and the group received 501(c)(3) status from the IRS in 1999.

After the 2010-2011 season, Valerie Miller decided to retire from her position as director. At the same time, accompanist Maureen Burford stepped down and was replaced by Annemieke Spoelstra. In 2011-2012 two members of TCS, Anna Alden and Kevin Quigley, stepped in to co-direct a very impressive year, and Lindsey Warren joined the group to direct with style and energy for the 2012-2013 season.  Kevin Quigley returned to the director’s podium for the 2013-2014 season, and has led the group to wide acclaim since then. 

In 2020, the rehearsal location was changed to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Upper Valley (UUCUV) in Norwich, Vermont, while performing in various locations (and streaming during the Covid years). Matthew Wiencke was hired as accompanist in 2013. A much-beloved addition, he stepped down in Spring 2022. 

enry Danaher served as accompanist from Spring 2022-Spring 2024. The current accompanist, Steven Ionov joined in Spring 2024.

For more information, visit: thetfordchambersingers.org.

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