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The purpose of the McDonough Choral Society is to nurture and cultivate classical choral music and its inspirational appeal for participants and audience, and to instill in its members a desire to excel in performance capabilities. Literature to be performed will include, but not be limited to, choral works of the following composers: Bach, Handel, Mozart, Brahms, Schubert, Stainer and others.

McDonough Choral Society
PO Box 101
Macomb, IL 61455
Telephone: 309-833-1203
E-mail: shoe@logonix.net


The musical leadership of the McDonough Choral Society is under the baton of Susan Shoemaker. Mrs. Shoemaker received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Knox College and a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University. She taught choral music for eighteen years in public schools in Morrison and Mundelein, Illinois, Music Appreciation at Spoon River College in Macomb, Illinois, and also teaches private voice. Her vocal studies were with Creston Klingman at Knox College, E. Clifford Toren at Northwestern University, and Sonia Sharnova at the Chicago Conservatory of Music.

She was soprano soloist at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Lake Forest, IL for eleven years and performed extensively in the northern suburbs of Chicago, appearing as Mother in Hansel and Gretel by Humperdinck, Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors by Menotti, and Mrs. Gobineau in The Medium by Menotti. She has sung the soprano solo part in many choral works as well.

As head of the Choral Music Section at Lyon and Healy Music in Chicago, and later as manager of Roger Dean Publishing Company, Mrs. Shoemaker became intimately acquainted with the workings of the music publishing industry. She also served as Vice-President of Jomlee Corporation in Macomb.

Mrs. Shoemaker is currently choir director at Trinity Lutheran Church in Macomb, Illinois.


Primary activity of the McDonough Choral Society is to present two concerts each year, one in the fall and one in the spring. Concerts include at least one major choral work and that composition might call for soloists. Each concert is preceded by approximately ten rehearsals and one dress rehearsal.

MCS Facebook pageFollow us on Facebook for upcoming rehearsals and performances.


Spring and Fall Concerts 2020 Cancelled

Our Spring and Fall concerts for 2020 have been cancelled due to COVID19.  Please check here or on the McDonough Choral Society Facebook page for updates on future performances.  We look forward to bringing fine choral music to our community again very soon.


December 9, 2019 Magnificat by Kim André Arnesen

April 29, 2019 Five Mystical Songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams

December 10, 2018 Sainte Cecile Messe Solennelle by Charles Gounod

April 9, 2018 Requiem by John Rutter

December 11, 2017 Christmas Oratorio, Part 1 by J. S. Bach

April 3, 2017 Missa Brevis K.192 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

December 5, 2016 Messa di Gloria by Giacomo Puccini

April 4, 2016 Requiem in D Minor by Anton Bruckner

December 7, 2015 Messiah by G. F. Handel

April 13, 2015 Requiem by Gabriel Fauré, Selections from Frostiana by Randall Thompson

December 8, 2014 Mass of the Children by John Rutter; Seasonal Songs and Carols

April 7, 2014 Psalm 95 op. 46 by Felix Mendelssohn; Short Festival Te Deum by Gustav Holst; Te Deum by Karl Jenkins

December 9, 2013 Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi; Fantasia on Christmas Carols by Ralph Vaughan Williams; Seasonal Songs and Carols

April 8, 2013 Requiem in C by Charles Gounod; American Folk Songs

December 3, 2012 Messiah by G. F. Handel

April 16, 2012 Songs of Freedom, Hope, and Destiny by Randall Faust (premier); Folk Songs

December 5, 2011  Magnificat by John Rutter; Other music of the season

April 11, 2011  Mass in D Major by Antonin Dvorak; American Songs and Spirituals

December 6, 2010  St. Nicholas Mass by Josef Haydn; Seasonal Songs and Carols

April 12, 2010 Psalms and Broadway Songs

December 7, 2009  Messiah by G. F. Handel

April 20, 2009  Mass in B Flat by Johann Hummel;  A Tribute to Abraham Lincoln

December 8, 2008  Hodie by Stroop;  Choruses from Messiah by G. F. Handel; Christmas Carols

March 31, 2008  Requiem by Luigi Cherubini;  Aaron Copland--early American songs

December 3, 2007  Magnificat by Antonio Vivaldi; Magnificat by Franz Schubert; Christmas Carols

April 16, 2007: Coronation Mass by W. A. Mozart. Soloists: Nancy Colvin, soprano; Amy Loving, mezzo-soprano; Larry Rawlins, tenor; Don Norton, baritone
Choruses from Great Operas (sung in English). Soloists: Mari Loehrlein, mezzo-soprano; Bruce Gardner, narrator

December 4, 2006: Messiah by G. F. Handel. Soloists: Kitty Karn, soprano; Lori Griswold, mezzo-soprano; Bruce Gardner, tenor; Don Norton, baritone

April 3, 2006: King David by Artur Honegger. Soloists: Shirley Salazar, soprano; Lori Griswold, mezzo-soprano; Terry Chasteen, tenor; Sue Ellen Pensinger, The Witch of Endor; Bruce Gardner, narrator

December 5, 2005: Laud to the Nativity by Ottorino Respighi. Soloists: Sangeetha Rayapati, soprano; Kathleen Randles, mezzo-soprano; Bruce Gardner, tenor

April 4, 2005: Liebeslieder Waltzes by Johannes Brahms. Soloists: Kitty Karn, soprano; Tom Booth, tenor; Nancy Colvin, duet soprano; Connie Workman, duet alto; Larry Rawlins, duet tenor; Kevin Loop, duet bass-baritone; Messa Solenne by Giuseppe Verdi. Soloists: Kitty Karn, soprano; Tom Booth, tenor; Terry Chasteen, tenor; Don Norton, baritone

December 6, 2004: Messiah by G. F. Handel. Soloists: Sangeetha Rayapati, soprano; Kathleen Randles, mezzo-soprano; Bruce Gardner, tenor; Don Norton, baritone

March 29, 2004: Missa Brevis, K 192 by W. A. Mozart. Soloists: Shirley Salazar, soprano; Marietta Dean, contralto; Terry Chasteen, tenor; Matt Bean, baritone; Requiem by Gabriel Faurè. Soloists: Shirley Salazar, soprano; Don Norton, baritone

December 8, 2003: Gloria by Antonio Vivaldi and Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten. Soloists: Michelle Vaught, soprano; Kathleen Randles, mezzo-soprano; Melanie Morgan, harp

March 31, 2003: Mass in G by Franz Schubert. Soloists: Emily Shenk, soprano; Larry Rawlins, tenor; Matt Bean, baritone; Requiem by Sir John Rutter. Soloist: Kay Norton, soprano.

December 9, 2002: Messiah by G. F. Handel. Soloists: Eileen Leland, soprano; Raisin Horn, contralto; Bruce Gardner, tenor; Don Norton, baritone


It is anticipated the organization will be comprised of sixty to seventy-five men and women from all walks of life who are interested in the performance of classical choral literature and reside primarily in McDonough County, but also be open to interested persons from surrounding areas. Capable students from high schools and institutions of higher learning will be invited to join, as will members of all church choirs within the county and surrounding areas.

Concert Attire
White, long-sleeve blouse, floor-length black skirt or pants, and black shoes.
No perfume, or large jewelry (small earrings are acceptable).

White, long-sleeve shirt, black pants, black shoes, black socks, black four-in-hand tie. No aftershave or cologne.


Donations for the support of the McDonough County Choral Society:
Underwriter $2,500
Benefactor $1,250
Patron $800
Sponsor $300
Friend $150
Supporter $75
Student $25
Your contribution is tax deductible - the Society is a 501c3 organization.


The McDonough Choral Society is an Illinois Corporation.

The McDonough Choral Society has been awarded the Federal 501c3 (tax free) status.


John R. Shoemaker, President Emeritus (in memoriam)

Bill Davenport, President
Lynn Johanson, Vice President

Judi Dallinger, Treasurer

Ken Harp

Susan Shoemaker, Music Director and Conductor

Honorary Board Members

Michael Inman, Mayor, Macomb, Illinois

Norine Hammond, State Representative 94th District


L-R are: Lew Dove, John R. Shoemaker, Susan Shoemaker, Don Mainzer
Choral Society
The McDonough Choral Society Spring 2003




(Adopted October 5, 2009; Amended September 25, 2017; Amended June 7, 2020)


A. The purpose of the McDonough Choral Society (Society) is to provide the residents of McDonough County, Illinois, and surrounding communities an opportunity to perform and promote quality choral music for the benefit of the community and region within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or the relevant provision of any future United States Internal Revenue law.
B. The Society is dedicated to the following principles:
1. Nurturing choral music and its inspirational appeal
2. Cultivating public interest in choral music
3. Instilling in its members a spirit of dedication and a desire to excel.

A. The Society shall be open to all residents of McDonough County and the surrounding region who subscribe to the purpose and principles of the organization.
B. To be a member in good standing, members will:   
1. be punctual for all rehearsals
2. be absent for no more than three rehearsals per term unless excused by the director
3. be present for each dress rehearsal and at least two of the three rehearsals immediately preceding a dress rehearsal unless excused by the director
4. wear required concert attire
5. perform in scheduled concerts unless excused by the director


The Fiscal Year of the Society shall be July 1 to June 30.  The Society is a not-for-profit corporation.  Upon the liquidation or dissolution of the organization, whether voluntary or involuntary, or whether by operation of law, all of the assets of the organization shall be transferred to an organization exempt from tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  None of the property of the organization or any proceeds thereof shall be distributed or divided among any of the members of the Society.


Two performances are anticipated each concert season – one in the fall and one in the spring.  Performance and rehearsal schedules shall be established to conform to the respective fall and spring academic semesters of Western Illinois University, which define the two terms of the concert season.


A. Insofar as it remains practicable for operational expenses to be covered by monetary gifts and subscriptions, no dues shall be assessed for membership.
B. If it becomes necessary to provide revenues beyond monetary gifts and subscriptions, the Board of Directors (Board) may establish a fair and equitable dues schedule payable by members at the beginning of each term of the concert season. 
C. No prospective member shall be denied membership because of financial hardship.  The Board of Directors shall provide appropriate means to cover the dues of any prospective member who is unable to pay dues.


The Music Director shall have the following responsibilities:
A. Selection of music for each performance in consultation with the Board
B. Interpretation of the music
C. Scheduling and logistics of rehearsals and performances
D. Selection and engagement of accompanist(s)
E. Selection and engagement of soloist(s)
F. Selection and engagement of orchestral musicians as needed for each concert
G. Final determination of the performing membership for each concert (See II.B.2/3/5.)
H. Serve as a non-voting, ex officio member of and advisor to the Board of Directors.
I. Consult with and meet with the Board as needed to meet fiscal and logistic goals throughout the concert season.
J. Susan Shoemaker, as Founding Music Director of the Society, shall retain the position of voting Director in the Board, which privilege shall not follow to any succeeding Music Director.


A. The Rehearsal Accompanist shall be retained by the Music Director, with the approval of the Board of Directors, and shall be supervised by the Music Director.
B. If the Rehearsal Accompanist performs with the Society in concert, he/she shall be compensated at the same rate as orchestra members for said performance unless otherwise contracted upon hiring.


A. Personnel
1. President
2. Vice President
3. Secretary
4. Treasurer
5. Three Directors at large
6. Music Director (non-voting, ex officio, except for Susan Shoemaker, who, as Founding Music Director, shall be a voting Director on the Board until she is no longer the Music Director)
7. Honorary Member(s) (non-voting)
8. The Board shall consist of seven Directors, and vacancies shall be filled as soon as practicable (see IX.)
B. Responsibilities and Duties of Officers
1. President
a. Provide written and/or electronic agendas for and preside at Board meetings.
b. Serve as ex officio member of all committees
c. Engage legal advice and assistance as necessary in order to oversee compliance with the State of Illinois and Internal Revenue Service requirements concerning non-profit corporation status, tax-exempt status, solicitation of contributions, and offering paid positions.
d. File or direct the filing of all state and federal documents and payments pertinent to tax exempt status of the Society.
e. Oversee a biannual review of the Bylaws (see VIII.C.5.)
(1). Newly approved Bylaws shall not be retroactive unless so directed by a majority vote of the Board.
(2). Board members shall operate under the Bylaws concurrent with the commencement of their official Board duties until such time that the Bylaws are changed or as directed by a majority vote of the Board.
f. Vote on Board matters to break tie votes.
2. Vice President
a. Fulfill the responsibilities of the President in his/her absence or as appointed by the President
b. Oversee marketing, advertising, and other fund raising activities in cooperation with the Chairperson of the Marketing Committee
c. Oversee the writing and submission of grant proposals.
3. Secretary
a. Record and maintain minutes of Board and membership meetings.
b. Assist the President and Music Director with correspondence.
c. Retain and train as necessary a substitute scribe for any Board meeting that the Secretary must miss.
d. Work with the Chair of the Marketing Committee and the Vice President to collect and maintain records.
e. Oversee collection and storage of archival materials.
4. Treasurer
a. Manage all financial records
b. Oversee bank deposits
c. Write checks as directed by the President of the Board or as directed by a vote of the Board.
d. Provide written and/or electronic financial reports for all scheduled Board meetings and as requested by the President.
e. Provide leadership in meetings where salaries and other compensations are discussed and voted upon.
C. General Responsibilities and Duties of the Board of Directors
1. The Board of Directors shall be responsible for the management and operation of the Society.
2. Attend regularly scheduled and special meetings of the Board.
3. Promote the wellbeing of and act as goodwill ambassadors for the Society.
4. Make and enforce rules and policies in accordance with these Bylaws.
5. Review the Bylaws bi-annually, recommend changes, and vote either to enact the amended Bylaws or to reinstate them as they stand.
6. Establish and/or confirm salaries and other compensation for Music Director, Accompanist(s), and orchestra members.
7. Each Board member shall perform his/her duties in good faith, with the care with which an ordinarily prudent person would exercise under similar circumstances, and in a manner he/she reasonably believes to be in the best interests of the organization.
8. Advertise the position of Music Director whenever such a vacancy occurs.  Interview applicants and make contractual and hiring decisions.
D. Quorum
A simple majority of voting Board members constitutes a quorum.  Any meeting conducted without a quorum will not be an official meeting and the proceedings thereof will be considered to have been “discussion.”
E. Frequency of meetings
1. The Music Director and/or the President shall schedule regular meetings of the Board at least once per term as deemed necessary.
2. Special meetings of the Board may be called by the President as needed.
3. At the request of at least two Board members a special meeting shall be called by the President.
4. Special meetings may be held by telephone, computer, or other current and applicable communications methods in addition to face-to-face.


A. A Membership Meeting for the purpose of Board nominations must be held during or immediately after a rehearsal.  The President of the Board or her/his designee shall preside.  If nominations and elections to the Board are needed at a time when rehearsals are not being held, the Board may conduct those nominations and elections virtually.
B. Any group of five Society members can request a Membership Meeting, or the President of the Board can call one.
C. During a Membership Meeting Society members shall nominate one or more members from their number to fill any Board vacancy or vacancies.
D. Nominees may address the Membership at the Membership Meeting (IX.C.), and if there are more nominees than vacancies, nominees are voted upon by secret ballot at a Membership Meeting after the following week’s rehearsal, i.e. 9:00 P.M.  If there are no more nominees than vacancies, then the nominees may be immediately elected to the Board by a majority of those voting, without need for a secret ballot.
E. Nominees must agree to perform the duties of a Board member before being voted upon.
F. Officers of the Board are chosen by and from among the seated Board of Directors.
1. The elected President shall have been a member of the Board for at least one year prior to her/his election.  The Board may waive this requirement by majority vote.
2. Terms of office for all Directors shall be three years, and Directors may succeed themselves for one consecutive term.  Former two-term Directors are eligible for reelection after being out of office for one year.
3. Directors in office when these Bylaws are ratified shall be held over in office.  In order to have a staggered succession of Directors, hold-over Directors shall be phased out of office over three years at the rate of two per year, beginning with the longest serving Directors, except Susan Shoemaker while she is Music Director, in the year following the adoption of these Bylaws and continuing each year in seniority order.
4. All terms of office shall begin on July 1 of the year of election to coincide with the Society’s fiscal year.  If the fiscal year is changed, the term shall begin in the month to which the beginning of the fiscal year has changed.  Vacancies filled during a concert season shall begin immediately upon election to finish the vacated term of office of the Director he/she is replacing.
5. Interested community members who are not Society singers are eligible to serve on the Board and in committees.
6. Officers of the Board are subject to election/reelection yearly.


A. Checks may be signed by the President or the Treasurer. The Music Director may sign checks in documented consultation with the President or Treasurer.
B. Checks in excess of $999.99 shall require the signatures of the Treasurer and the President.
C. Any expenditure shall be reported to the Board of Directors at the first Board meeting following the expenditure.


A.  The only standing committee is the Marketing Committee, which may be a committee of one or more persons.  The President shall appoint the Chairperson of the Marketing Committee, who will report to the Vice President.
B. The President may appoint committees as needed for the orderly operation of the Society.  The President shall appoint the Chairperson of any committee so established.
C. Interested community members who are not Society singers are eligible to serve in committees and as Directors on the Board.


Bylaws can be amended by a vote of five Directors.



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