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Darlene Williams 
 Director 
   
Darlene may hold the record for youngest person to join our chorus! Growing up the daughter of Lee Ann Williams, an extremely gifted and long-time vocalist of the Choraliers, Darlene experienced the organization from a perspective like no other. She learned early on as a pre-teen that she wanted to be part of our chorus. In 1976, at a much shyer age of 18, Darlene received a phone call from Bob Miller, and due to the suggestion of her mom, he allowed Darlene to join without undergoing a stressful audition. Her musical background includes piano lessons, playing flute in 4th grade, and church choir by age 12. Her non-formal vocal training came naturally while with singing a multitude of duets with her mom and singing with the Choraliers. After Bob Miller retired, Darlene became one of the directors and has served as secretary to the board. Presently, she is the financial officer, the wardrobe manager, and when not directing, the anchor to the altos with music memorized early in the season. Her AA degree in business comes in handy as an employee at Jeff Holman Auto in Jackson. Hobbies she enjoys include decorative painting, cross-stitch, and spending time with her four nieces and seven grandnieces and nephews. Her favorite color is green.
   
Karen Reed
Director 
   
Growing up in Golden, Colorado, Karen began her singing career in junior high.  She had the unique opportunity to be part of a 16-voice group in high school that embarked on a tour to New York and sang on Colorado Day at the New York World’s Fair.  She notes that the numerous choir tours she took in college were highlights of her college years where she majored in music. Karen has been a church pianist since her high school years and has directed many church cantatas, programs and specials.  Wearing many hats since joining in 1991, Karen serves as an accompanist, soprano, music educator, and director (after Bob Miller's retirement in 1994).  Karen's ear for pitch and continuity is extremely important to our chorus.  She's happy to be retired from her 30-year public teaching career, but sometimes finds herself busier than ever as a wife, mom, grandma, church pianist, piano teacher and Choralier extraordinaire!  She has been married to our very own Tom (the Music Man) for 41 years and spends as much time with her 2 children (with her daughter’s family living overseas) and 7 grandchildren as she can.  Outside her love for music and training future pianists, she also loves walking, shopping, and traveling.  
   
Holly Wendland 
Assistant Director 
   
One of the hardest workers of the chorus, you will find Holly lifting equipment, moving pianos, cheering us on, and inspiring the audience with her strength, spirit, and demeanor!  She has been in the dental field since 1987.  Married to a cabinet maker, she and her husband, David, have two sons—great young men that often helped us out during stage sets, and sound / lighting.  Holly has her musical roots singing in two church choirs and in the chorus and musical theatre in high school.  She recalls, “I still remember the first time I heard the Choraliers sing at Mount Zion Church in Pine Grove.  It was so inspiring!  I knew I that I wanted to be a part of this singing family and it has been my pleasure for several years.”  Holly has sung soprano since she began singing with the Choraliers in 2005. In 2015 she started helping with director duties as well. 
   
Irv Gidding 
Musician 
   
Bob Miller called Irv his “right hand man.” When Bob was not available to direct the Choraliers, Irv was always ready to wield the baton. Not much has changed from those early years. Irv is still willing to do whatever needs to be done. Starting in 1964 with the group, he shows little sign of slowing down! Irv still sings when needed, plays a variety of instruments, hauls the trailer to all the concerts and leads the men in setting up all the equipment.  He taught music in Amador County schools and during his two years of military service in Korea, he played with 3rd Infantry Division Band and the 8th Army Band. He currently plays (and does some directing) with three local bands, one of which has played in Washington DC. He also served as the Sutter Creek Methodist Church's choir director for 29 years. He still plays a mean round of golf, loves trout fishing, and backpacking. You’ll find his wife Lita at all the concerts, greeting folks and handling the tickets at the door. They have three children, six grandchildren, and two step-great-grandchildren.
   
Barbara Alcala
Pioneer 
   
Barbara plays piano, (and when younger, played flute and cello) and has had a varied background in singing over the years. She sings 2nd soprano and joined Choraliers in the winter season of 2013. She currently works for Sust Mfg. Co., Inc in Stockton and loves learning, living in the woods, Tai Chi, dance, making music and “making merry” with her family and friends. She has a daughter, Laurie, son-in-law, Rob, and 2 grandchildren - Katie and Megan.
   
Pamela Bennets 
Ione 
   
Pam is a 5th grade teacher at Ione Elementary.  She enjoys reading, gardening and recently became a Master Gardner!  She played violin in high school and college, and has sung in church choirs over the years.  A 2nd alto, Pam started singing with the Choraliers in the spring of 2010, and has become a key voice in that section.  She is an active single lady with 3 children and 6 grandchildren. 
   
Joyce Burbank 
Pine Grove
   
Starting in 1998, singing 2nd soprano with the Choraliers, Joyce has been sharpening her vocal and performance level while singing more and more solos and in small ensembles with the group.  Before moving to Amador, she sang with the Bay Area Choral Ensemble, and with Sweet Adeline’s, an international organization, where their motto is “Harmonize the world.”  She has one daughter and 3 grandchildren.  Joyce is a retired registered dental hygienist and her hobbies include painting, reading, and traveling
   
Steve Chambers 
Pioneer 
   
Steve joined the group spring of 2016 singing bass and has credentials longer than your arm! He holds a B.A. degree in Music Performance from San Jose State University.  He has taught instrumental music, performed in many bands and orchestras over the years (some of which he founded) and has also performed in musical theater in the pit orchestra. Steve can be found leading and playing in the Speakeasy Jazz Orchestra that he co-founded, the Amador County Concert Band and also directing the Amador Community Chorus. He and his wife, Patrice, also with a musical background, have two sons, Gregory and Christopher, who have followed in their parents’ footsteps with musical careers. To see Steve’s full biography, log on to  HYPERLINK "http://www.speakeazyjazz.com"     
www.speakeazyjazz.com 
   
   
Judy Diaz
Pioneer
   
Joining the group in winter of 2015 singing alto, Judy has quite a musical background. She plays several instruments and has sung in many choral groups including the Stockton Chorale, Master Chorale, and Opera Chorus. She and her husband Dan enjoy their blended family of seven children and one grandson. When she is not singing, Judy enjoys exploring Amador County, cooking and is currently employed with the County of Amador.
   
John Emery 
Volcano 
   
John is our traveling Choralier. When he’s not mountain climbing or traveling the globe, you’ll find him in the bass section. Having sung with the San Diego Symphonic Chorale, John joined the Amador Choraliers in 1975.  Being one of its longest standing members, he has a lot on his shoulders as a leading voice in our bass/baritone section.  With his wife, Sandy, they have a daughter, Tracey (who currently owns and operates the restaurant, Taste, located in Plymouth).  John loves hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing, and traveling abroad.  We are grateful to his service in the US Army from 1957-1963!  John is a retired Stock Market Investor.
   
Melanie Harris
Ione
   
Joining the Choraliers in 2013, Melanie grew up singing in the Ione Elementary Red Ribbon Choir where she continues to assist with vocal coaching. With her beautiful 1st soprano voice, she often performs solos and in small ensembles. Outside of working as an account rep for Dignity Health Medical Foundation, Melanie enjoys collecting antiques and searching and researching for her next perfect tattoo. 
   
Jennifer Harris-Cook
Ione
   
Having worked in the corrugated industry since 1992, Jennifer has served the majority of those years with Cal Sheets in Stockton.  She and her husband, Mike Cook, have one son, AJ and his beautiful wife, Suzee.  Jennifer's love of music extends back to grade school, Jr. High, and High School.  She has sung in Church choirs as well, and we are happy she brings her energy and personality as an alto to the Choraliers.  Her hobbies include music (number one on her list!), wine tasting (and drinking), and cooking.  Jennifer joined the group in spring of 2013.
   
Thomas Harmon
Ione
   
Tom began singing in the tenor section in 2014, but with an urgent need, switched to the bass section the following season where he has been an anchor. He has sung in Barbershop quartets and choruses as well as church choirs. Currently retired, Tom has worked for the U.S. Post Office and in residential and commercial construction. Tom has also served our country in the 101st airborne division of the Army. He and his wife Kitty have three children and two grandchildren. His favorite hobby is enjoying their grandchildren and of course, singing.
   
Berlene Horne
Vallecito
   
Berlene retired from AT&T but is back to work part time with Foothills Infusion RNs as their bookkeeper. Her singing background is quite eclectic starting with opera training, then a year with a rock and roll band, and then in an a Capella choir. She joined the Choraliers as a soprano in 2014. Currently single, she has two children and five grandchildren. Berlene has a real love for things antiquated belonging to several clubs – Model A Ford (has a 1931 Victoria), Mother Lode A’s, Sonora A’s, Civil War Re-enactment (member of Legends of the American West). She also loves vintage clothing, old guns and old men!
   
Pat Love
San Andreas 
   
Pat joins us from San Andreas where she is a manager at the Calaveras Mini-Storage.  She has been singing in church choirs and began singing as a member of glee clubs in secondary school.  Pat's son and daughter are both married.  She has two grandsons, six granddaughters, and one grandson-in-law.  Pat enjoys attending plays, volunteering to aide senior citizens, participating in the Relay 4 Life and learning long-arm quilting. She began singing alto with the Choraliers in spring of 2013.
   


Bruce MacNab

Pioneer

Bruce originally joined the Choraliers in 2008 and after a sabbatical since 2010, returned in the winter of 2016. Singing as a bass, he has an impressive musical background which included playing B-flat trumpet, singing throughout college and other groups, to singing with the Cleveland Singer’s Club with the Cleveland Orchestra (often conducted by Fred Warring). Now a widower, Bruce has four children and eight grandchildren. When not singing, Bruce enjoys watercolor painting, travel, competitive (dog fight) flying (Marchetti 260LF fighter). A Commander, United States Navy, he was Navigator to Admiral Richard Byrd for Arctic exploration, then Operations Officer, Eniwetok, Bikini, Marshall Islands nuclear and hydrogen bomb testing program, Pacific Proving Grounds.
Michael Melligan 
Sutter Creek 
   
Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Michael didn't move to California until 1995.  Being a Certified Real Estate Appraiser, he has seen crazy things happen in the industry these years of late.  Michael brings to the group lots of experience having been in choruses most of his adult life.  He has sung in choirs in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, the San Francisco and East Bay areas and right here in Amador County.  Moreover, he's been involved in numerous Festivals of Carols and Inter-Faith choral events in the area.  Joining us in 2011, he sings 1st and 2nd tenor and loves swimming, tennis, yoga and overall fitness activities.
   
Carole Meltzer 
San Andreas 
   
Joining the group in 1996, Carole has been active with the Choraliers and the Foundation ever since. She has served as President of the Board as well as instrumental in launching the membership and sponsorship campaigns. Carole is a key delegator for dozens of duties to keep the Choraliers afloat!  For many years, she has done all the design work for the posters, and manages the database. Starting as a 2nd soprano, she moved to the alto section in 2000 and occasionally sings solos and in small ensembles. She started singing in high school, and then under the direction of Jimmy Owens with the Cathedral Choraliers in Oakland, CA. She also sang for many years with the Mountain Ranch Choraliers, church choirs and has been the director of music in her church. Recently retired, Carole is married (50 years!), has two daughters and six grandchildren. In her spare time, she loves to garden and is an avid scrapbooker and crafter. 
   
Thomas Moraitis 
Sutter Creek
   
Thomas joined the Choraliers in the spring of 2013 as a tenor.  He is President elect of Kiwanis Club of Amador County.  In 2016, Thomas founded Righturn.Club, a mentor led fitness program for kids, sponsored by Kiwanis. The first club began at Sutter Creek Elementary School in the Spring, 2016. A documentary is in production, so clubs can begin in other communities. In the fall, several Righturn.Clubs will begin. He led his own design firm for 10 years, clients included The Cousteau Society, Orange County Performing Arts Center and The American Cetacean Society. He has held creative director positions at Citrix,  HYPERLINK "http://apartments.com" \t "_blank" Apartments.com, MyPoints, and Christianity Today, and is currently retired. Thomas loves design and has lent his talents to our logo and posters. 
   
Ginger Payne 
Jackson
   
Living in Jackson, Ginger joined the Choraliers spring of 2013.  She has been an elementary education aide for schools in Oregon and New Mexico.  Her marriage of 50 years has given her two sons, three grandchildren and one great-grandson.  While she admits to not having a broad chorus background (high school chorus, octets and church choirs), she adds a lot to the alto section.
   
Kathy Payne
Jackson
   
   
Claiming that singing is food for her soul, Kathy began her love of singing in her 2nd grade musical, “Cinderella”... and hasn't stopped singing since.  She joined the Choraliers in 2005 and states: “The Choraliers has been my saving grace since my move from San Diego!”  Outside of her fondness for our chorus, she shares from her heart that her husband, David, and her five daughters are her life.  Kathy has been a leading 1st soprano for many years and will often be found singing solos and in small ensembles.  She’s also the queen of the tambourine! And by the way, her husband, David is the group’s amazing narrator!
   
   
Esther Paoletti
Ione
   
Now retired, Esther worked in the Property Tax Department for Sonoma County. She and her husband have one son, four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Coming from a musical family, her father sang with the Los Angeles Opera. Esther sang in church choirs all of her life, with Sweet Adeline’s, and then joining the Choraliers in winter of 2015.
   
Tom Reed
Ione
   
We are happy to have our very own “Music Man” in Mr. Reed.  Most of the time, Tom's favorite Choralier is his wife of 40+ years, Karen!  Tom is a self-taught guitarist that honed his skills playing for youth groups, church congregational singing, and Choraliers functions.  He is a retired teacher and principal for Amador County Unified School District and a former pastor of First Baptist Church of Ione (now Cornerstone Church).  While his major was Sociology, he has a keen interest in the English language, and continues to whittle away at becoming a fabulous writer.  For many years, Tom wrote and emceed the narration of our concerts.  His wit, intelligence, and tenor voice culminate into the multi-talented member he is!  Tom is currently a CPR trainer and enjoys hunting, writing, and bike riding.  His love for watching old westerns and war movies may eclipse, infinitesimally, his love of singing.  
   
Kathy Whitney 
Plymouth 
   
Kathy began with the Choraliers in 2013 as an alto. After her first season, it became apparent that she was a force to be reckoned with as she began singing solos and in small groups, and also shares in the pianist duties. Her mother said, “she has been singing since birth”, and has played the piano since age five. Kathy works for the Calaveras Superior Court and has two children, Jacquie and Matt, both attending college. Music being her #1 hobby – playing the piano and karaoke – Kathy also loves reading, cooking, and baseball – GIANTS of course.
   
Christopher Zombres 
Pioneer
   
Christopher began his Choralier career in the spring of 2016 but is no beginner in the music industry. An incredible tenor, he has sung in many community choirs, including the Sonoma Valley Chorale (25 years), Redwood Valley Chorale, International Consort Chorale, Sonoma County Barbershop Ensemble, Sonoma Valley Chamber Jazz Ensemble and the Sonoma City Opera. Christopher is retired from the State of California as a hospital administrator, is married and has four children. Along with musical performances, he loves boating, fishing and traveling.
   


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