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Wheeler named Classic Chorale director

Jim Wheeler1 / 2
Performances by the Classic Chorale during the holidays and spring have become a Park Rapids institution, Jim Wheeler now holding the baton. (Submitted photo)2 / 2

Jim Wheeler has been appointed director of the Park Rapids Classic Chorale for the upcoming season.

Wheeler brings a varied musical background to the podium. As a graduate of Chatfield High School's award winning bands, he was selected as a member of the 541st Air Force Band during the Korean War.

Following his tour of duty he attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa and had a teaching career in instrumental music. He directed church choirs in Primghar, Iowa, Austin and Park Rapids. He is conductor emeritus of the Park Rapids Area Community Band and has just completed his eighth year as music director at Hubbard United Methodist Church.

Park Rapids Classic Chorale is an auditioned choir of approximately 50 voices that rehearses throughout the fall and winter months. Two series of concerts are presented. This year's Christmas concerts will be Dec. 9 and 11; the spring concert will be April 27 and 29.

Since the departure of Erich Knapp in the fall of 2009 the chorale has enjoyed the leadership of three interim directors, all of whom are members of the chorale. Anita Hanneman, Paul Dove, and Gary Stennis have ably led their cohorts through two seasons of concerts.

The board also appointed Carol Wall as assistant conductor and Cheryl Steinborn as co-accompanist. Steinborn will join Jane Wolff at the piano.