The Flint Festival Chorus was founded by J. Dallas Dort in 1913. Mr. Dort's ambitions were to form a musical organization to "unite all persons of the city into a musical union, for the benefit of all people in the city". More than 100 years later, the choir still involves persons from the greater Flint area, and brings together singers from ages 18 to 80 to perform both as a concert choir and as a symphonic choir.
Led by directors Nada Radakovich and Jeffrey Walker, the choir rehearses at FIM Monday nights between the first Monday after Labor Day and the final concert of the year. Rehearsals include voice-building exercises, sight-reading, and exercises to discover all the best ways to make the music sing. Every year, the choir sings with the Flint Symphony Orchestra for The Holiday Pops in December, and one other choral and orchestral concert during the season. Maestro Enrique Diemecke takes over as the concerts approach, and leads both choir and orchestra with great inspiration and insightful musicianship.
In some years, the choir gives its own performance of non-orchestral choral works.
Auditions are required for new members. The auditions are mostly a way for the conductor to greet new singers, welcome them into the fold, and find the correct placement for them in the choir. We are seeking enthusiastic, committed singers with a great love for choral music and the choral art.
Men wear a tuxedo with a black cummerbund and black bow tie.
Women wear a dress and jacket from Stage Accents. New singers need to be measured at the beginning of the season so that an order can be placed in time for the December performances of Holiday Pops.
All singers must purchase their own concert attire.
In 2014, 30 members of the Festival Chorus traveled to France for the Paris Choral Festival. They sang the Fauré Requiem in the church for which it was composed, L'Eglise de la Madeleine.
The chorus also sang at the American Cemetery in Normandy on the fourth of July, then toured to Chartres Cathedral and to Mont. St. Michel. Eleven other choirs from the United States were also in attendance.
During the summer of 2015, 25 of our singers went to Interlochen for the Adult Choir Camp, under the direction of Jerry Blackstone. These trips have afforded our choristers with an excellent opportunity for further growth as singers as well as wonderful times for camaraderie.