The Northwoods Singers began life as the Northwoods Choral Group in 2003. Under the direction of Romanian born violinist and vocalist, Ligia Vascan, the group, then consisting of approximately 20 members, held its first full concert in December, 2003, at the Land O’ Lakes grade school, in Land O’ Lakes, WI.
The following spring, the growing group held concerts at Ely Memorial United Church of Christ in Land O’ Lakes and Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Eagle River. Continuing to sing winter holiday concerts in Land O’ Lakes and spring concerts in Eagle River, the organization grew under Vascan’s leadership through spring of 2005, when two concerts were held at the Eagle River venue, the final one heralding Vascan’s departure as her family moved to the Milwaukee, WI area.
A new era began in the fall of 2005 with the arrival of Dr. Pamalyn Lee. Changing the name of the organization to the Northwoods Singers, an official board was formed, and, by 2006, the Singers were incorporated as a not for profit tax exempt organization.
The Northwoods Singers continued to attract vocalists from throughout the Northwoods of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and continued to hold concerts in both Land O’ Lakes and Eagle River, WI. Under Dr. Lee’s leadership, vocal workshops were sponsored, additional outreach performances for local civic and service groups were scheduled, and the scope of choral material presented in both holiday and spring concerts widened. In addition, area instrumentalists were added to each performance venue.
Fundraising efforts include Brat Sales, annual letters to potential contributors and grant applications.
Under Dr. Lee’s direction, in 2011 the Singers began supporting the formation of the Northwoods Youth Singers, a high school age youth-oriented choral group. This support is in the form of musical scholarships to young local singers.
In 2014 the Northwoods Singers parent group added a middle school component to the Northwoods Youth Singers. Again, musical scholarships and vocal training were added to the youth choir schedule. Both levels of the The Northwoods Youth Singers now join the adult group for both holiday and spring concerts.
Without scholarships to the Northwoods Singers and to the Northwoods Youth Singers many deserving Northwoods vocalists, both adults and youth, would be unable to participate in these groups.The Northwoods Singers are committed to improving the musical experience of both audience and choral members. Uniquely, the Singers are also dedicated to improving individual and group understanding of the importance of the physical aspects of healthy vocalization, including breathing techniques and vocal relaxation exercises.
Future plans call for additional concerts, workshops, and outreach performances.