The Lakewood Area Choral Society is now in its thirtieth year of bringing quality choral music to audiences throughout Michigan. The choir, under the direction of Robert C. Oster, was formed in January of 1986 to provide adults from in and around the Lakewood School District (Lake Odessa, MI) with an opportunity to sing in a large, semi-professional chorus. To date, the Choral Society boasts a roster of one hundred and five amateur singers representing twenty-one communities and twenty-four zip codes in western and mid-Michigan. The performers range inage from their 20’s to over 80 and represent various and diverse occupations.
Yearly, the Lakewood Area Choral Society presents numerous sacred and secular concerts throughout the state. They have performed at the Welsh Auditorium in Grand Rapids, Miller Auditorium in Kalamazoo, the Opera House in Grand Ledge, and the Renaissance Center in Detroit. The Choral Society has appeared twice at the annual Grand Rapids Arts Festival, at Artin the Park in Lake Odessa, and has held many concerts at various fairs, schools, and churches throughout central and west Michigan. The choir has sung the National Anthem for the West Michigan Whitecaps, the Lansing Lugnuts, and the Detroit Tigers as well as for high school basketball games in the Lakewood area. In the past sixteen years, the Choral Society has embarked on two European trips, in 1997 and 2000, as well as a trip to New York in June of 2004. In 2007, the choral society returned to New York and then cruised to Canada, with concerts performed in Halifax and Saint John. Photos of these trips can be viewed at lacsmusic.org. A 25th anniversary trip to Chicago was taken in June, 2010, and the choir traveled to Washington DC in June of last year, with performances at the National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Walter Reed Hospital.
As part of the choir’s 25th anniversary celebration, Michigan composer Frank DeWald was commissioned to write a composition for the choir. Sea and Shore was premiered in October of 2010, and in the fall of 2013 was published by Boosey and Hawkes, a subsidiary of Hal Leonard Publishing. The SSATB voiced piece has become a staple of the choral society’s concert repertoire.