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November 23, 2017

11/10/2017 7:29:00 AM
Rhinelander Male Chorus looking for new members, donations

Kayla Breese
Feature Writer

The Rhinelander Male Chorus, formerly known as the Nicolet College Male Chorus, is looking for new members and donations.

The organization has a rich history that dates back to World War II, according to Corky Stoxen who has been singing with the group for 39 years.

"The chorus was begun by returning World War II veterans, in 1945," he said.

There are 12 current members and more are welcome to join.

"Our members enjoy singing and performing for various audiences in the general Rhinelander area," Stoxen said. "Many of us have met new friends as a result of the group."

The chorus has performed at many churches as well as nursing and retirement homes.

"For many years with other singing and/or musical groups from the Rhinelander area, we've participated in annual Christmas and spring concerts at Nicolet College," Stoxen said. "From the reactions of attendees, members of the community appreciated our efforts."

Unfortunately, Stoxen said the holiday concert is not likely to be held this year.

"Funding has now become a challenge," he explained. "In the past we put on our cabaret dinner concert annually, but as with all things the popularity of cabaret faded and we decided to stop them. We're now trying to come up with ideas to increase our funding. Our treasury cannot support the chorus and without funding from an outside source, after 72 years of continual operation, the Rhinelander Male Chorus will no longer exist."

The chorus was previously funded by Nicolet, but the college told its choral groups in March it would not be able to continue its support.

"It was basically a reallocation of resources," said Sandy Kinney, executive director of Nicolet. "We've been under a tax freeze and a freeze from state funding and things for several years now."

"They've been great groups and they've meant a lot to some people who have been involved in the community," she added.

The Rhinelander Male Chorus is registered as a non-profit 501(c)(3) through the Associated Male Choruses of America.

Donations can be sent to treasurer Dan Stroede at 4735 Joyce St., Rhinelander, WI 54501. Any organization that would like to sponsor them can also contact Stroede.

Any male age 16 or older who loves to sing is welcome to join the group. They meet Monday nights from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Saint Augustine's Episcopal Church.

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