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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
700 South Lafayette Street
Macomb, IL 61455-2954
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.


Christmas Concert  - December 11, 2017

      7:30 p.m.

    Wesley United Methodist Church

     Macomb, IL

To Be Announced

Spring Concert - April 2018

    7:30 p.m.

    Wesley United Methodist Church

    Macomb, IL

To Be Announced


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 Vaughn 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)

Larry Rawlins, President

Margaret Bourke, Vice President

Chris Meyers, Secretary
Judi Dallinger, Treasurer

Mary Margaret Harris

Ken Harp

Mary Lane

Ron Morrow

Susan Shoemaker, Music Director and Conductor

Honorary Board Members

Jack Thomas, President, Western Illinois University
Sherrill E. Milnes, Northwestern University

Michael Inman, Mayor, Macomb, Illinois

Norine Hammond, State Representative 94th District

Bruce Gardner, Emeritus, Western Illinois University


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




(Adopted October 5, 2009)


The purpose of the McDonough Choral Society is to provide the residents of
McDonough County and surrounding communities an opportunity to perform and
promote 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 corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue law.

The McDonough Choral Society is dedicated to the following principles:

A. Nurturing choral music and its inspirational appeal;
B. Cultivating public interest in choral music; and
C. Instilling in its members a spirit of dedication and a desire to excel.



A. The McDonough Choral 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. In order to maintain membership status a chorus member must:

      1. Attend rehearsals regularly as required by the Music Director, in accordance with Section VI. C and D of these bylaws; and

       2. Perform in all scheduled concerts, unless excused by the Music



The Fiscal Year of the McDonough Choral Society will be July 1 to June 30.

The McDonough Choral 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 organization.



Two performances are anticipated each concert season, one in the fall and one in the spring. Performance and rehearsal schedules shall be established in conformance with the fall and spring academic semesters of Western Illinois University, and the two semesters shall constitute a concert season.



There shall be no dues.



To participate in any McDonough Choral Society performance an individual must:

A. Be a member in good standing;
B. Be punctual for all rehearsals;
C. Be absent from no more than three (3) rehearsals per semester;
D. Be present for the dress rehearsal and at least two of the three rehearsals immediately preceding the dress rehearsal for each concert; and
E. Wear required concert attire



The Music Director will have the following responsibilities:

A. Selection of music for each performance in consultation with the Board of Directors;
B. Interpretation of music;
C. Scheduling and logistics of rehearsals and performances;
D. Selection and engagement of accompanist;
E. Selection and engagement of soloist(s);
F. Selection and engagement of orchestral musicians as needed for each
G. Final determination of the performing membership for each performance;
H. Serving as a member of the Board of Directors;
I. Oversight of program design coordination, program notes and printing; and
J. Oversight of the writing and submission of grant proposals.



The Rehearsal Accompanist shall be appointed by the Music Director with the approval of the Board of Directors, and shall be under the supervision of the Music director.



A. Responsibilities and Duties

The Board of Directors of the McDonough Choral Society shall be responsible
for the total management and operation of the Society. The Board shall have
the authority to make and enforce rules and policies, provided such rules and
policies are not in direct conflict with any provision of these bylaws. Each
board member shall discharge his or her duties in good faith, with the care
which an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would exercise under
similar circumstances, and in a manner he or she reasonably believes to be in
the best interest of the organization.

Pursuant to these responsibilities and duties, the Board of Directors shall:

      1. Hold regularly scheduled and special meetings as stipulated in Section
          IX. D of these bylaws; and
       2. Promote the well being of, and act as goodwill ambassadors for the
           McDonough Choral Society.

B. Board of Directors Personnel

The Board of Directors shall be comprised of nine members, including the
       1. President
       2. Vice President
       3. Secretary
       4. Treasurer
       5. Music Director
       6. Four Member(s) at Large
       7. Honorary Member(s) (non-voting)

Each Board member, with the exception of Honorary members, shall serve a
term of three years, renewable successively by a majority vote of the Board. If
necessary, a Board member may be replaced or a Board position may be
eliminated, as described in Section X. B of these bylaws.

C. Quorum for meetings

A simple majority of the voting Board members will constitute a quorum. Any
meeting conducted without a quorum will not be an official meeting and the
proceedings thereof will be considered to consist only of discussion.

D. Meetings of the Board of Directors

Regular meetings of the Board of Directors shall be scheduled at least once per semester, or as deemed necessary. Special meetings of the Board may be
called by the President or the Music Director at their discretion. At the request of two or more Board members, a special meeting must be called by the President or Music Director. Special meetings may be held by telephone, computer, or other current and applicable communications methodology.



A. Election of Officers
Officers of the McDonough Choral Society shall be elected by the Board of
Directors. Nominations may be made by any Board member, and suggestions
for nominations may also be accepted or solicited from any chorus member in
good standing. Each officer will serve until he or she is replaced or his/her office is eliminated, as described in Section X. B of these bylaws.

B. Term of Office
A Board member may be appointed, replaced, or his/her office may be
eliminated, with the approval of a majority vote of the Board of Directors.
Reasons for replacement include, but are not limited to, resignation, death, or
recommendation by a majority of the Board of Directors.

C. Eligibility to Hold Office
Each person nominated to hold office shall be a member in good standing
and shall have agreed to serve. To be eligible to serve as President, a person
must have two years of prior service on the Board of Directors. This service
need not have been consecutive, nor must the person be serving on the Board of Directors at the time of his or her nomination. If necessary, the Board may waive these requirements by majority vote.

D. Duties and Responsibilities of Each Officer

The President of the Board of Directors shall:
      1. Preside at Board meetings;
      2. Notify Board members of scheduled and special meetings;
      3. Serve as ex-officio member of all committees; and
      4. Engage legal advice and assistance in order to oversee compliance
          with the State of Illinois and Internal Revenue Service requirements
          concerning nonprofit corporation status, tax-exempt status, and
          solicitation of contributions.

The Vice President of the Board of Directors shall:
      1. Preside at meetings in the absence of the president or when appointed
          by the president; and
      2. Oversee marketing and advertising activities, including program ad
          sales, sponsor solicitations, media announcements, and other fund
          raising activities approved by the board.

The Secretary of the Board of Directors shall:
      1. Record and maintain minutes of board and membership meetings;
      2. Maintain MCS correspondence;
      3. Maintain records of sponsorships, including correspondence and
      4. Oversee the maintenance of a chorus members database;
      5. Certify and maintain current bylaws and amendments thereto;
      6. Oversee annual review of bylaws, and recommend changes as
          appropriate; and
      7. Provide written agendas and minutes of previous meetings for all
          scheduled and special board meetings.

The Treasurer of the Board of Directors shall:
      1. Manage all financial activities;
      2. Make bank deposits and write checks as appropriate; and
      3. Provide written financial reports for all scheduled board meetings and as
          requested by the President.



A. Only the President, the Treasurer, or the Music Director may sign checks or
B. All expenditures must be reported to the Board of Directors at the first Board meeting following each expenditure.


The President may appoint committees as needed for the orderly operation of the McDonough Choral Society. The President shall appoint the Chairperson of any committee so established.



The Bylaws may be amended at any time with the approval of the Board of Directors.


All meetings of the McDonough Choral Society Board of Directors shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, unless said rules are in conflict with the provisions of these bylaws.



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