The Cleveland Pops Orchestra

Cleveland Pops Chorus

Cleveland POPS Chorus to debut in November, 2012
Adapted from an article by Donald Rosenberg, music critic for The Plain Dealer

William Zurkey
William Zurkey, director of choral
progams at Avon Lake High School
has been named Choral Director
of the Cleveland POPS Chorus.
  Chorus Audition Application

The Cleveland POPS Orchestra and conductor Carl Topilow have announced the formation of a chorus of its own. The orchestra is creating the Cleveland POPS Chorus to perform at several of its concerts each season, mainly at Severance Hall and PlayhouseSquare Center. The debut of the chorus will take place at Severance Hall on Friday, November 2, 2012 in a concert of music by legendary song-writing teams in a performance titled "The Song Writing Giants of Broadway."

The new chorus will be directed by William Zurkey, director of choral programs at Avon Lake High School, who has collaborated with Topilow and the POPS on many occasions with his top Avon Lake High School student choir.

"Carl and I want to give another dimension to the concerts," Zurkey said. "With the chorus up there, you get to hear the lyrics. It's such a neat sound – chorus and orchestra.

Zurkey and Topilow would like the new chorus to have between 100 and 150 singers.

"You gotta think big," said Topilow. "There are so many possibilities between our Broadway, military and holiday concerts. Adding a chorus will be a big boost to our programming capabilities."

Along with its debut at Severance Hall in November, the chorus will also perform at the POPS' "A Joyous Christmas Celebration" at PlayhouseSquare Center on Sunday, November 25, 2012. The traditional POPS holiday concert is a Sunday matinee performance beginning at 2:00 P.M. The chorus's third outing in its inaugural season will be on Friday, May 17, 2013 in the POPS' 13th Annual "Salute to Our Armed Forces" patriotic concert.

Auditions for the chorus will be held Tuesday, August 28th and Wednesday, August 29th at the Cleveland State University Music and Communications Building, 2001 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, where the chorus will also rehearse most Monday nights between August and May. Singers auditioning will be asked to bring a solo that best shows off their singing skills. An accompanist will be provided.

Zurkey is looking for singers with choral experience who are "capable of hearing their own part and have great tone quality." he said. "A lot of people sing in community choruses. I really want to have people who not only want to sing, but have some good background and training."

Zurkey has both, He's been a chorister since middle school and received music degrees – with an emphasis on choral singing – from Bowling Green State University, Cleveland State University, and Kent State University. He has led choruses at Baldwin-Wallace College and Oberlin College.

Annual dues to participate in the POPS Chorus will be $35, which will help defray music rental and rehearsal hall costs.

To schedule an audition appointment, call Susan at 216-765-7677 or email her at

See more Cleveland POPS Chorus news and events.

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