The Schubert Male Chorus is dedicated to music education and entertainment through learning, sharing and promoting the love of Glee Club singing. Our goal is to develop an interest in a wide variety of music while encouraging men to advance an appreciation of choral singing through concerts and community events. We are a group of men who love singing, enjoy camaraderie and strive for excellence in performance to delight our audience.
The Schubert Male Chorus sings a wide variety of music including folk songs, patriotic, spirituals, show tunes, classical, contemporary, love songs, sea shanties, and a large variety of Christmas and seasonal selections.
The Schuberts perform at many civic and corporate functions during the year, including Immigration and Naturalization Ceremonies for new citizens, churches, nursing and retirement communities. We have become a favorite of many at Christmas time and in the springtime. The chorus annually performs at the Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts in June.
The Schubert Male Chorus is considered the oldest independent continuing male chorus in America. Founded by Henry C. Post, a talented pianist, teacher and music critic, along with 12 other men on November 19, 1883 - and immediately expanded from 13 members to 16 "just to be sure" - the Club has presented at least one major concert each year since its first on December 4, 1884. The organization has never departed from the original intent of furthering the appreciation and performance of good choral music. Civic benefits have been part of Schubert service since its beginning with innumerable concerts for shut-ins, schools, churches and dedications, including City Hall (1885), East Grand Rapids High School (1929), City-County complex (1969), and The Ford Museum and DeVos Hall. The group is a regular at the annual June Arts Festival. The Chorus was a member of the American Male Chorus Association and The Michigan Male Chorus Association for many years. In 1983 the Schuberts' hosted "The Big Sing" in honor of their 100th birthday. Dozens of male choruses from across the country and Canada came to be part of this special occasion. The DeVos Hall stage held over 1,000 men for this concert. Our archives hold letters from many prominent men of the day, from our own Gerald Ford to then President Ronald Reagan. The Schuberts were part of a special presentation of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Van Andel Public Museum in February, 2003. The chorus commissioned original music for this widely attended exhibit, and performed along with the St. Cecilia Youth Choirs. Under the Direction of Don Huls and accompanied by Phil Pletcher the chorus has served the West Michigan Community through varied appearances including:
- Over 20 performances at local Retirement and Nursing Communities each year
- 4 Immigration and Naturalization ceremonies for new U.S. citizens each season
- The Women’s City Club Christmas Luncheon
- The National Garden Clubs 87th Annual Convention
- Kent County Treasurers Association Christmas luncheon
- St. Robert’s Parish annual Senior Citizen Picnic
- Grand Rapids Masonic Temple Centennial Celebration
- Veteran’s Day Celebration in Grand Haven
- The Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts
Philip W. Pletcher - Artistic Director Philip Pletcher, pianist, conductor, teacher, actor, composer and arranger, has been active in music since age four and has played throughout the United States and Canada. He serves on the faculty at The Piano Cottage and has maintained a private piano teaching studio for over twenty-five years, working with students of all ages and levels. He is the Artistic Director of the Schubert Male Chorus and the pianist for Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus. Phil also plays for Temple Emanuel of Grand Rapids, conducts the Shir Shalom Jewish Choir and performs in collaboration with many regional musicians. Mr. Pletcher received his bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Bethel University in consortium with Indiana University. His graduate study was at Michigan State University under Ralph Votapek. He has served on the board of directors of the Grand Rapids Bach Festival and on the Advisory Council for the Calvin College Artist Series. Phil is the former Director of Music for St. Cecilia Music Society, Park Congregational Church, Plymouth United Church of Christ and Wesley Park United Methodist Church. He has served on the accompanying staff of Calvin College and Grand Valley State University. He is also past President of the Michigan Music Association and Grand Rapids Piano Teacher’s Forum. Phil is a Pampered Chef consultant and loves to make music at his shows. As an actor, he has performed extensively with the Lakeshore Arts Alliance at the Red Barn Theatre in Saugatuck and for Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids. He may be contacted at www.PhilipPletcher.com
- Neil McKenzie, President
- Chris Kaiser, President Elect
- Doug Haneline, Past President
- Ward Walkotten--Treasurer Board Member by virtue of position
- David Flower--Secretary Board Member by virtue of position
- Rob Schaefer- Historian
- Steve Tokarski
- Ed Jennings
- Phil Zamlynski
- Mike Janisse
- Dave Diephouse
- Alan Doering
- Steve Chapdelaine, Voices Editor, board member by virtue of position
- Philip Pletcher, Artistic Director
- Pianist - Maureen Carmody
- GeneAnn Schaefer, Business Manager
To see Schubert Male Chorus performing, follow the links below. The following videos contain some of the chorus's finest historical performances.
Linda and Alan Doering - Schubert Male Chorus Music ScholarshipTo apply for the music scholarship contact the Music Department at GRCC. The Schubert Male Chorus of Grand Rapids will award one scholarship each year to a student enrolled at Grand Rapids Community College. Conditions and qualifications for this award are as follows:
- One scholarship will be awarded in the Spring semester beginning in January in an amount equal to the tuition of a student enrolled in 12
- credit hours that semester up to a maximum of $1300 per semester. Other scholarship offers will be evaluated to determine the exact amount of money to be awarded.
- No more than two awards will be granted in any calendar year.
- The student must be a full-time music major studying voice, directing or instrumental music and enrolled in the college choir for credit.
- The student may be male or female.
- The student must have and maintain a 3.0 or better grade point average.
- The student must be willing to perform with the Schubert Male Chorus at the major concert of that semester (Christmas event or Spring event).
- The student must attend all rehearsals leading up to the concert event.
- Grand Rapids Community College will select a student who is acceptable to the Schubert Male Chorus. The Chorus will provide input on the selection.
- January 2023 - Matthew Hillen is a Caledonia native and alum of Caledonia high school and recent graduate of GRCC. Through his time at GRCC, he has had many opportunities to perform and demonstrate his progress as a musician. Matthew's goals are to pursue opera performance, but he would eventually like to end up as a high school conductor of choirs.
- January 2022 - Madilyne Barbrick was born and raised in Byron center, and has been involved in various musical activities from childhood. Though she grew up home schooled, her musical education has spanned the majority of her life. Madilyne began singing as a little child, and by age seven she began taking piano lessons. Through middle school and high school she participated in the West Michigan Homeschool Fine Arts program, singing alto in various choirs, and playing saxophone, clarinet and flute in multiple wind ensembles. Madilyne plans to become a full time music educator.
- January 2020 - Joelle Davis has been involved in music for the majority of her life. She started taking piano lessons when she was 7 and flute lessons when she was 12. When she was in high school, she attended music classes at the homeschool building, sang on the worship team, and gave her younger siblings piano lessons. When she graduated high school in 2016, Joelle began taking classes at GRCC to obtain a degree in Music Education. When she graduates from GRCC, Joelle plans on attending Western Michigan University to earn her bachelor's degree. After that, she plans on teaching music in some of the remote parts of Guatemala where education and music are scarce.
- September 2018--January, 2019 Micah Carabellese is in his sophomore year studying music education at Grand Rapids Community College, majoring in voice and minoring in piano. He started voice lessons in 2017, but has been in choir since middle school. He started playing piano when he was six because he had to have two years of piano lessons to play percussion. Piano has stuck with him ever since. Micah also plays percussion, all the brass instruments, saxophone, and guitar. He has been home educated his whole life, and was a part of various homeschool organizations such as West Michigan Homeschool Fine Arts, where he learned everything he knows about music. Micah has also been a part of Homeschool Performing Arts where he would be acting on stage or down in the pit playing percussion. He most recently performed in an opera masterclass for Maestro James Meena, who conducts operas all around the world. After Micah finishes his associates at GRCC, he plans to further his education at Western Michigan University.
- January, 2018 - Ashlea Sooy is in her sophomore year at GRCC, studying for a double major in Vocal Performance and Piano Performance. She has taken piano lessons since she was six and voice lessons since she was eight. Along with other members of her family, she has performed for various churches, banquest and parties. As a homeschooled student, Ashlea was involved in Homeschool Performing Arts for seven years, where she enjoyed various chorus and lead roles in HPA's Kalamazoo location. In 2016 Ashlea was lead soloist, Martha, in the schools production of Lamb of God. After graduation from GRCC in 2019 Ashlea will continue to use her gifts in whatever path God sets before her.
- January, 2017 - Anna Leestma is the 2017 recipient of the Linda and Alan Doering-Schubert Male Chorus Music Scholarship. Music has always been a big part of Anna's life. From a young age she has loved singing, performing and listening to music. Anna's formal education started at the age of 8 when she began playing flute and singing with the ensembles of the West Michigan HomeSchool Fine Arts. She also became involved in Musical Theatre through HomeSchool Performing Arts. Currently, Anna is in her sophomore year as a music student at GRCC. She is studying voice, conducting, flute and piano with Dr. Steve Barton, Carmen Maret and Dr. Kenneth Bos, faculty at GRCC. She also spends her free time using her musical skills to lead worship at Ada Bible Church. Anna plans to attend Western Michigan University to pursue her Bachelors in Music Therapy. Anna says, "Music has always been a passion for me. I love studying and engaging in it and look forward to sharing it with others."
- January, 2016 - Clay Towery is the 2016 recipient of the Linda and Alan Doering - Schubert Male Chorus Music Scholarship. Clay Towery is a music student at Grand Rapids Community College. He is studying Music Education with a focus of Instrumental Education. He has been a choir member and accompanist at Holy Family Catholic Church in Sparta for almost ten years. He has been playing piano for over 10 years, studying under Mr. Hoopengarner, Mrs. Elizabeth Walters, and Dr. Debora DeWitt. Clay has marched vibraphone and synthesizer with Genesis Percussion Indoor Drumline in the 2014 and 2015 shows. In the past few summers, Clay has assisted with the instruction of the Sparta and Northview High School marching bands. This winter, he started to assist in the instruction of the Comstock Park High School Winter Drumline. He plans to graduate with an Associates Degree of music from GRCC this Spring. He hopes to go to Western Michigan University in the fall and study piano pedagogy there.
- January, 2015 - Samantha Ericksen is the 2015 recipient of the Linda and Alan Doering - Schubert Male Chorus Music Scholarship. Born and raised in the Grand Rapids area, Samantha grew to love music at an early age. Her earliest memories include sitting beneath the family's baby grand piano while her older sisters plunked their way through their piano lessons. She knew in a matter of time she would be sitting on that piano bench creating her own music, with her own piano teacher. When she was 7 years of age, she began her musical journey. Years of piano lessons, and many years spent singing in a choir at Rockford Public Schools, it only seemed natural to continue her music studies and make a living doing what she loved most. Samantha is currently studying piano and conducting at Grand Rapids Community College, under the direction of Dr. Stephen Barton and Dr. Kenneth Bos. She hopes to continue her music education beyond Grand Rapids CC when the time is right. Today, Samantha is grateful teaching young students piano out of her home and being close to her ever growing family.
- January, 2014 - Rosalie Baxter is the 2014 recipient of the Linda and Alan Doering - Schubert Male Chorus Music Scholarship. Rosalie has been involved with music most of her life; singing with her father as a child, years of piano lessons and singing with many choirs. Currently she attends Grand Rapids Community College where she is a member of the College Choir, Concert Choir and The Madrigal Singers. Rosalie studies voice with William Bokhout and is working to earn her Associates Degree in music, with a long term goal of attending Western Michigan University to compete her Bachelor Degree in Music Therapy. Rosalie resides in Coopersville with her husband and four children.
- January, 2013 - Eli Snyder is the 2013 recipient of the Linda and Alan Doering - Schubert Male Chorus Music Scholarship. Eli began taking music classes with Kindermusk at about age 5 and has been playing piano since he was eight years old. He started singing in his schools chorus when he was 12 and performed with the Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Chorus at age 16. Eli bacame more active in music when he enrolled at GRCC in the fall of 2011 and has participated in the Concert Choir, Shades of Blue (Jazz group) and the Madrigal Singers. His plans are to become a music teacher. Eli lives and grew up in Allendale. Eli says "he likes to spend time with his family and likes to play video games in his spare time."
- September, 2011 and January, 2012 - Erika Wynne is the 2011 recipient of the Henry Camp Post Scholarship and the 2012 recipient of the Alan and Linda Doering Scholarship. GRCC and The Schubert Male Chorus felt Erika was deserving of both semester’s financial assistance. She is studying voice performance, piano performance and fine art. Her instructors are William and Dr. Deborah DeWitt. Erika has a deep love for music and has been performing in choirs since the age of 5. She has participated in the Holland Youth Orchestra as a violinist and theatrical work with Performing Arts. "I know my music and art degrees will assist me in living life with a creative and innovative prospective, and I believe that living a creative life is living an enriched life,” states Erika. We have enjoyed working with Erika during the first semester and look forward to her continuing during the spring semester.
- January, 2011 - Ben De Leeuw is the 2011 recipient of the Linda and Alan Doering - Schubert Male Chorus Music Scholarship. Our 2011 Scholarship recipient is Ben De Leeuw. Ben is a sophomore at GRCC, pursuing vocal performance and math education. He maintains a 4.0 GPA and has quickly moved through the music major core sequence. Ben has been involved in various choirs at his church for most of his life, from kindergarten through 9th grade, and at present. He has attended the Knollcrest summer music camp and the Blue Lake summer music camp. Ben hopes to transfer to MSU and earn a Bachelors Degree in both music and math. We welcome Ben to our chorus.
- January, 2010 - Christine Lutes is the 2010 recipient of the Linda and Alan Doering - Schubert Male Chorus Music Scholarship. We are pleased to announce our first scholarship recipient, Christine Lutes, a sophomore vocal performance major at Grand Rapids Community College. Christine has been involved in the Homeschool Performing Arts theater and in a number of musicals in the Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids area. Her plans include completing her Associates Degree at GRCC andtransfering to another institiution to continue her musical education in vocal performance and possibly earn a degree in music educaton. Christine is assisting our director, Don Huls, in choral warm ups and sectional rehearsals. She will perform with us at our spring concert on May 8, 2010.
Performance Testimonials87th National Garden Club Convention - Adele Krhovski, President of the Kent Garden Club The performance by the Schubert Male Chorus was terrific! Two standing ovations were well deserved. The "Old Man River" solo brought down the house. Wonderful! We could have listened for another hour.
Grand Rapids Masonic Temple Centennial Celebration - Michael E. Clark, President of the Grand Rapids Masonic Temple Association As chairman of the Grand Rapids Masonic Temple Celebration I want to thank and highly complement the Schubert Male Chorus for the wonderful music you provided our guests during our recent Celebration in August. The chorus' rendition of our National Anthem was especially moving and well received by all. Although the day was stormy and dark, the music was bright, warm and enthusiastic. It removed the dark clouds and brought smiles to all who were in attendance. This was not the first time the Chorus has performed for us and certainly will not be the last. I am happy to recommend the Schubert Male Chorus to anyone needing outstanding, enjoyable and moving music for any occasion.
St. Robert's Senior Citizen Picnic - Catherine Jacobs, Senior Picnic Coordinator Many thanks to the Schubert Male Chorus for the amazing performance at our Senior Citizen Picnic in August, 2015. Every one of the 250 guests enjoyed the wonderful music. Many guests took the time to complement the performance and requested that the Chorus return next year. Our long-time volunteers commented that the performance was the best we've had in years. We hope the chorus will be able to return next year and give us an encore performance.
Kent County Treasurer Association - Milissa Soderstrom, Deputy Tresasurer of the Kent County Treasurer Association There were great comments about the wonderful singing and entertaining of the Schubert Male Chorus at our Christmas party on December 10, 2014. We would highly recommend the chorus to anyone who wants great entertainment.
U.S.S Hunt Navy Destroyer 12th Annual Reunion - Ronald Skiba, President, U.S.S. Hunt DD674 The U.S.S. Hunt DD674 a U.S. Navy Destroyer, held its 12thannual reunion in Grand Rapids, MI., September 14th thru the 17th 2000. As part of the reunion ritual, we have a Memorial Service to honor all of our departed shipmates. This year we were very fortunate in scheduling the Schubert Male Chorus of Grand Rapids, for the event. I have to tell you the response from our attendees and their spouses, for the performance your chorus gave was overwhelming. The selections, tones, tunes, and harmonizing were not only captivating, but struck every emotional chord, of everyone in attendance. My personal goal was to give our reunion participants a Memorial Service that they would remember and cherish. Your Choral group, did that. Comments like, "not a dry eye in the auditorium", "superb", "outstanding", "we will never forget this", "best Memorial Service ever", "etc", were on everyone's tongue. I cannot thank you and your Chorus enough. You have 70 plus enthusiastic supporters, who along with myself and my wife, would recommend the "Schubert Male Chorus of Grand Rapids" to anyone who would solicit our comments. Again, I want to thank you and your Chorus for an unforgettable performance.
United States Power Squadrons, Sail and Power Boating: District 9 - Lyle and Louise Rea, Dinner/Dance Co-chair On behalf of District 9 and the National body of the United States Power Squadrons, we would like to thank you for working with us and providing such a wonderful Male Chorus for the enjoyment of our group at the Amway Grand Plaza on Saturday, 10 June. The group was very well received as evidenced by the enthusiastic applause and the two standing ovations. They are truly talented. We received many favorable comments as to their excellence. For many attendees, I think this performance was a conference highlight. It was a real pleasure working with you and, once again, we thank you! We were particularly pleased with the groups' response to our requests. They provided everything we asked for and more.