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Singing a New Song

brand new local choir preps their first concert

Lauren Fisher, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Eighteen singers strong, Chorale à NouvEAU is a new community choir based in Eau Claire. Formed by Altoona native Kate Larson, the group’s first concert is Jan. 26. Above: A rehearsal at Christ Church Cathedral.
Eighteen singers strong, Chorale à NouvEAU is a new community choir based in Eau Claire. Formed by Altoona native Kate Larson, the group’s first concert is Jan. 26. Above: A rehearsal at Christ Church Cathedral.

A new community choir has recently started up in Eau Claire, offering yet another great opportunity for people to raise their voices in a musical ensemble. Kate Larson, an Altoona native who recently returned to the area to live, has brought together a group of 18 singers to form Chorale à NouvEAU, which will perform its first concert Jan. 26 at 3pm at Christ Church Cathedral.

“There’s a lot of people who want to sing but think, ‘Oh, I don’t have time in my busy life.’ We are trying to keep it simple, keep it manageable, but offer an experience that’s fulfilling and challenging.” – Kate Larson, director of Chorale à NouvEAU

The hour-long concert is free to attend, with a suggested donation of $10. The proceeds will be split between Chorale à NouvEAU and their season partner, Fierce Freedom, a nonprofit that works to end human trafficking.  Larson, who directs the choir, is excited to present a program of songs from around the world, including Swedish a cappella jazz as well as Estonian and South African works. 

“Even if you don’t think you like choral music, come to the concert and try it because there’s a lot of stuff that maybe you haven’t heard yet,” Larson said.

The new choir will be a new member of a thriving community of choruses in the Chippewa Valley. In March, they will be the guest performers for CVASing’s 2020 concert, “Come Together.” This event will benefit Feed My People Food Bank.

“All the choral music that is being made in the area is wonderful, and the more of it we put out there, the better,” Larson said.

But a group like this is just as much for its members as it is for its community.

“I knew at least a couple of people who were looking for an opportunity that just wasn’t out there,” Larson said.  “I just thought, why not give it a go?” It was also an opportunity for Larson, who worked as a school choir director in Minnesota for several years before returning to the Chippewa Valley, to select and practice new music with a group of singers again.

“There’s a lot of people who want to sing but think, ‘Oh, I don’t have time in my busy life.’ We are trying to keep it simple, keep it manageable, but offer an experience that’s fulfilling and challenging.” It’s when people feel too busy, too overwhelmed with their daily responsibilities, that they need music and singing the most, Larson said.


Chorale à NouvEAU meets for practice on Tuesday evenings September through March, with concerts in January and May. Larson will be holding auditions for interested singers the week following their first concert. For more information, find them on Facebook - @ChoraleaNouveau.

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