New Leadership for The Goshen Community Chorale Announced

The board of the Goshen Community Chorale is pleased to announce that Bradley Kauffman will become our new music director beginning July 1, 2021, upon the retirement of our current director William Mateer.  

Bradley Kauffman is no stranger to many in the Goshen area.  He studied under Doyle Preheim at Goshen College, graduating in 1996 with a major in music education, and he earned a master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of Iowa in 2002, where he studied with Dr. Timothy Stalter.  Bradley has taught music at Iowa Mennonite School (1997–2005), Bethany Christian Schools (2005–2007) and at Hesston College (2007–2015), where he conducted choirs and chaired the music department.   Bradley and his family lived in Cincinnati, Ohio from 2015–2020.   Here he assumed the role of Project Director and General Editor for Voices Together, the new hymnal for Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada, released by MennoMedia late in 2020.  With that project nearing completion, Bradley moved to Goshen this past summer with his spouse, Renee Kanagy – an ordained minister who works as a chaplain for the Center for Hospice Care of Mishawaka – and their children, Lucca 16, and Rowan, 10.  In January Bradley returned to teaching at Bethany Christian Schools, leading the choral music program.  

What excited the board most, beyond Bradley’s education and experience in leading choirs in schools, is his experience developing and leading community choral groups in both Iowa and Kansas. Bradley grew up singing under the direction of his father, Byron Kauffman, in a community choir in West Liberty, Ohio.  While living in Cincinnati he sang with or led as interim director several community groups. Clearly Bradley brings to us excellent background and experience in working with inter-generational singers such as the Goshen Community Chorale.  

As we welcome Bradley, we also recognize Bill’s good work with the Chorale. His considerable achievements include concerts ranging from a Bluegrass Mass to Alice Parker’s Melodious Accord to English Cathedral Classics, among others.  It’s also important to note Bill’s efforts to arrange for programs featuring choral music from Spain and Latin America.  He also prepared the Chorale to sing Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Maple City Community Orchestra.  In addition, Bill also spent many hours working behind the scenes on grant applications, venue arrangements and other administrative activities.  We want to express the gratitude of all to Bill.  

With the introduction of vaccines and the majority of the community receiving one it is our fervent hope that we can get back to making music this coming fall.  Stay tuned!

Plans for our upcoming season

The Chorale board met in December and decided that it was necessary to continue with the current suspension of activities through what would have been our upcoming 2021 spring season.  With the current status of COVID infections in our area and the dangers of spreading the disease through singing together, we felt it would be inappropriate to do otherwise.  So, there will be no rehearsals starting in February, as would ordinarily have been the case. 

However, we are very optimistic that things will be different by fall, with the upcoming availability of vaccines.  Nobody can predict for sure what will be happening, but at this point we are basing our planning on the assumption that we will be able to assume regular rehearsals and performances beginning in September.  We are anticipating that this will be a special time, with additional details to be shared as we get closer to that date.