When Rolland E. Heermance, director of the Catskill Glee Club, put out a call in 1951 for singers interested in forming a women’s chorus, he was amazed and thrilled when over 70 women enthusiastically responded.
As a choral group of women’s three- and four-part harmony, the Treble Choraliers have been singing to audiences for over 55 years. Our first concert was at the First Reformed Church in Catskill, NY on May 3, 1951 with Rolland E. Heermance conducting and Evelyn F. Porter accompanying on piano. Below is a chronological list of conductors and accompanists from 1951 to the present.
The early format was for one concert per year. The ladies wore evening gowns and presented a pastel rainbow of colors. In the early years, “road concerts” were often held as an avenue to earn funds for the ensemble. Sometimes the singers outnumbered the attendees. These traveling concerts were held in various communities around New York State in Selkirk, Durham, New Baltimore, Germantown, Rhinecliff, Rosendale, Bethlehem, Phoenicia, Chatham, Woodstock, Albany, Valatie, Glenford, Coeymans Hollow and South Westerlo. The Choraliers even journeyed out of state to Massachusetts and Vermont.
In June 1960, Rolland Heermance was killed in an automobile accident. Wishing to maintain the legacy that Rolland had left, the Choraliers enlisted the musical talents of Robert Aldrich, music teacher at Catskill High School to continue as conductor.
In May 1964, the Treble Choraliers were invited to sing at a Special Events Program at the 1964-65 World’s Fair. We offered a 30-minute program in the New York State Pavillion.
In May 1988, we adopted more contemporary concert attire abandoning pastel evening gowns for white blouses and long black skirts.
In May 2000, we performed a gala Golden Jubilee concert in Catskill. We remember all those who have sung before us and honor their contributions to music in our community by preserving their legacy.