Dickinson County Community Chorus



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 August 11, 2021

Dear Members and Friends of DCCC,

Hope this letter finds you and your loved ones well. Although we promised to write earlier, the COVID-19 situation has been changing dramatically over the past two months, and we delayed this communication until we had enough current information to share with you. Uncertainty and caution are driving the decisions we are making.
We are not making these decisions lightly. Much thought has gone into researching the risks of singing together. We have looked at current state and national music organization guidelines and recommendations for safe rehearsal and performance. We are fully realizing that we are not able to guarantee the safety of our members in rehearsal and our audiences in performance. Here is some of the information we have considered in coming to this decision.
  • Few activities spread COVID-19 as effectively as singing and playing wind instruments. They are considered to be higher-risk for COVID-19 spread due to the aggressive expelling of respiratory droplets. From the very young to the senior members in our group, we cross the full spectrum of ‘at risk’ individuals.
  • The delta variant has complicated the timeline for when we can return to normal activities. The increasing number of cases among both vaccinated and unvaccinated people is concerning.
  • While the vaccination rate is increasing, the recommended vaccination percentage for members is 80 percent for return to normal rehearsing and performance. The averages in our communities currently stands at 55.5% fully vaccinated and 58.1% have received one dose (Dickinson County). We are currently designated as a “high-risk” county. On Thursday, August 5, 2021, the delta variant has been confirmed to be in Delta, Dickinson, Marquette, Houghton and Gogebic counties. 
  • Our rehearsal space does not accommodate the recommended social distancing for the size of our group. We cannot rehearse or perform outdoors in the UP colder months. 
  • We have no control over the ventilation or air handling in the rehearsal space.
  • Recommended length of rehearsal time is much shorter than we would need to prepare for a concert.
Therefore, we have determined that the risks are still too great for us to safely rehearse together and invite an audience to participate in a performance.
Other opportunities for singing:
  • DCCT is putting “A Christmas Carol” and is auditioning for small caroling groups who will be appropriately spaced on stage. Precautions will be taken to lower the risks on stage and in the audience. Contact Dawn Kranz if you are interested.
  • The Christmas Walk in downtown Iron Mountain is always looking for singers to carol outdoors.
  • Be creative. Consider organizing your own caroling groups! Sing door to door in your neighborhood during the Christmas season.
As you can only imagine, this was a very difficult decision to make. We look forward to meeting again when it is safe to do so. Thanks for your understanding and patience as we navigate through these difficult times.
Musically Yours,
Crystal Hogan
Gail Vornkahl
Dawn Kranz  

Saturday, March 27, 2021
Dear Dickinson County Community Chorus Family,
We hope and pray you and your loved ones made it through the winter with many blessings, few disappointments and thankful that it was a mild winter. As spring arrives, we can see hope as the perennial flowers break through the soil to assure us that Easter is just around the corner and summer will be here soon.

As Holy Week approaches, we reflected on the many years we helped provide our community with an ecumenical spiritual and meditative experience through scripture and song. We are sad that this year we will not be together, but hopeful that we will be back together again as soon as it is recommended to be safe for gathering and singing.

After John Calo’s passing, Mary gave us old programs, recordings, and newspaper articles John had collected over the years. Combined with what we had at home and what Rosemary VanPeymbrock had collected through the years, we had enough material to start an archive file. We wanted to find a way to share it with the membership but knew the hard copy wouldn’t be very accessible. We spoke with Joe McKindles to see if he had any thoughts on how we could share it online - and he did! 

During  the past several months, we have had time to work on the 50+ years of DCCC history. The reason you have not heard from us in a while is that we have  spent that time quietly and diligently working to provide you with access to the DCCC archives that have now been posted ONLINE! The good news is you can access our Holy Week archives to have a personal Holy Week Program at home.

So far, Joe has scanned and uploaded pictures, recordings and programs for the Christmas and Holy Week seasons for the membership to peruse. The Holy Week recordings in the archives from 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2019 include the scripture readings. Click on this link DCCC Archives to access the archives. We hope this will give you a virtual experience that will be meaningful during the Lenten season.

The archives are not complete, especially in the early years, so if you have anything you can add to the archives where information is missing, please send to Crystal at her new email address caph@charter.net or send it through the postal service.

Later this spring we will send another email with archive updates as well as the summer archives. At that time we hope to have more information as to when we will be able to gather again. Unfortunately we will not be having a summer concert and Christmas is still questionable. We will stay in touch as we will know more and gain confidence through the advice of the medical experts. Please be patient and stay safe. When we do reunite, it will be a long-awaited musical celebration for sure!

Wishing a happy heavenly birthday to John R. Calo. He would have been 88 yesterday.

Sincerely, Musically and Virtually Yours,

Crystal Hogan & Gail Vornkahl
Crystal Hogan
250 Campbell St.
Iron Mountain, MI 49802-5006
HAPPY NEW YEAR! We are optimistic that 2021 will be a year of hope and renewal.Blessing for all as we continue to navigate our future on so many levels.
This email will address two issues that are of interest to our membership:
iMovie updates AND continuing direction for our future as a group.


Thanks to all who viewed the iMovies. We received a wonderful sponse from so many of you. Thank you!
Below you will find revised/updated versions of the iMovie YouTube links. So much was coming at us as we were putting them together that we inadvertently left off a couple of names in the virtual choir. (For those who might have wondered, we didn’t use the pictures of the performers in virtual choir because less than half of you sent pictures.) Also, a special tribute from Rosemary VanPeymbrock got lost in the many, many emails shuffled back and forth. We felt it was important to include this tribute because we believe it speaks for all of us.
As we compiled pictures for the tribute we discovered that we didn’t have many pictures (candids or performance pics) from the years that John was principal conductor so we did the best we could with what we had. We dug deep and got creative and found a few more pictures of John that we were able to add to the end of the tribute.
We thought it would only be right to update the movies in order to make these projects complete and as accurate as possible in order for DCCC to a positive virtual experience during this unprecedented time.
If you would like to see the updates but don’t have time to watch the movies in their entirety look for the updates in the beginning of the virtual choir movie and the end of the tribute movie.
Virtual Choir (revised)
Tribute (revised)


We are confident that you understand, but sad to confirm, that we will not be meeting in preparations for the Holy Week Service. We are taking one step at a time in this uncertain path we are traveling on and will continue to contact you on any and all plans and updates. Right now we need a break to catch our breath before we entertain ideas for future virtual experiences.

To keep you informed we will post any updates via email, on our our facebook page, website - http://www.communitychorus.org, The Daily News, and The Advertiser.
Sincerely, Musically and Virtually Yours,
Crystal Hogan & Gail Vornkahl

Lights! Camera! Action!

Hello to all -- 
Thanks for waiting patiently for the iMovies!!

The saying goes….”You can’t teach an old dog new tricks!” 
I say “Bah humbug! You CAN…but no-one said it would be a fast process.”

Anyway, we have finally made it to the finish line. These Christmas iMovies were more technologically challenging than we anticipated and definitely a labor of love. But…we are done! The iMovies are actually early if you consider its only the 2nd day of Christmas. Instead of two turtle doves we have two iMovies for you!

Enjoy the attached iMovies ——

DCCC Sounds of Christmas Tribute to John R. Calo 
Full length concert (1 1/2 hours) 20 years of musical memories. 
Tribute link: https://youtu.be/vwgL3aDN9oI

 DCCC Virtual Christmas Chorus 2020 
(7 minutes) Performance by the brave souls who took on the challenge. No worries if you missed out - we invite you to sing-a-long with the virtual chorus as the iMovie is complete with lyrics. 
Virtual Choir link: https://youtu.be/OHtCfMzKEDc

Happy Boxing Day!

Crystal, Gail, and Jeremiah

Attention, please!

Friday, 27 November 2020

Regarding Christmas 2020

Greetings! Chorus members should have received from the directors a letter in the mail this week, as well as an email from Crystal today. If you didn't receive the email, please check your junkmail folder and spam folder to see it's there. Also, make Crystal one of your contacts so that you will receive any and all future communications. If you haven't received any correspondence please contact Crystal via Facebook Messenger to give her your contact information.

Please follow this link to see the letter, the guides, and the sheet music for what DCCC will do for Christmas 2020.


Announcement regarding the DCCC summer rehearsals and concert in light of the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus pandemic:

After much thought, consulting with the staff, and listening to the recommendations of the scientific and professional-healthcare experts about the summer months, I've decided to cancel the DCCC summer concert. 

Better to be safe than sorry.

Please use this time to enjoy your family and maybe take in a choral performance or musical production online.

We'll aim to reconvene in the fall, if possible, for the Christmas concert.

Watch for updates and other announcements here, on our webpage, or on DCCC's Facebook.

                                                                                             Thursday, 30 April 2020

Announcement regarding the DCCC summer rehearsals and concert in light of the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus pandemic:

"Things are up in the air regarding our summer concert. I'm not writing it off yet, but we won't start rehearsals until we know it's wise, recommended, and safe. If we have the concert, it'll have to be later than usual in the summer, but I can't make any predictions or promises at this point. Watch the Facebook page, this DCCC webpage, and the Daily News, and we'll keep you posted with detailed information as the situation unfolds. Meanwhile, take care of yourselves and stay healthy." 

                                                                                             Wednesday, 15 April 2020

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"How Deep the Father's Love for Us"

Dickinson County Community Chorus; Gail Vornkahl, Conducting

From a Previous Holy Week Concert-Service

[Tap or click on the title to listen to the recording.]


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2019 Holy Week Concert-Service


Link to the Event's Photo Album

Crystal Hogan: "Under normal circumstances we would have been at St. Mary’s in Norway performing our Holy Week Concert tonight. We felt it was important to somehow acknowledge this day and provide some solace for the emptiness we are feeling. We came across the recording of the whole service from last year and decided to play it in its entirety for you to enjoy and sing along if you like. It won’t be the same as being together, but we can be together in spirit. Blessings to all during this reflective Holy Week."

[Click or tap on each of these to open each.] 01 Opening Hymn: He Leadeth Me || 02 Welcome and Opening Prayer || 03 Isaiah 53:1-9 || 04 Lead Me, Lord || 05 Matthew 26:6-13 || 06 Alone He Prays || 07 Matthew 26:17-35 || 08 Beautiful Hands || 09 Matthew 26:36-46 || 10 Prayer: Through the gifts of word, music . . . || 11 Offertory: Air || 12 Matthew 26:47-68 || 13 The Suffering Servant || 14 Matthew 26:69-75 || 15 Bitter Tears || 16 Matthew 27:11-31 || 17 Lamb of God || 18 Matthew 27:32-50 || 19 The Lord Is My Shepherd || 20 Thanks, Comments, and Closing Prayer || 21 Closing Hymn: Jesus Paid It All

Facebook Photo Album of the Concert-Service.

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Library, Archives





Please remember . . . 

. . . Assistant Conductor and Principal Conductor Emeritus John R. Calo, who died of natural causes on February 6, 2020, at the age of 86 during a trip to Green Bay. Also, please keep John's family in your thoughts.

Visitation and funeral-service details are at this website

Next Musical Performance:

Dickinson County Community Chorus (DCCC)
Iron Mountain Area Clergy Association (IMACA)


The Ecumenical Holy Week Service

Gail Vornkahl, Associate Conductor

7:00 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, 7 April 2020
Saint Mary Catholic Church, Norway, Michigan

Rehearsal for Holy Week Service


7:00 p.m. CST on Tuesday, 14 January 2020


First Presbyterian Church, Kingsford, Michigan

Remaining rehearsals weekly at the same time and place and by announcement.

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Special Announcement

Thursday, 12|19|19

From the desk of Crystal Hogan about recordings:

The CDs of the 2019 Christmas concert have arrived and the DVDs will be done soon. You can pick them up at John Calo’s House at 812 Hamilton Avenue in Kingsford. Please call first: 906-774-6631.


There is no charge for choristers and instrumentalists, but we are limiting the complimentary CD to one (1) per person. After all of the musicians have had a chance to pick up their copy, then persons may have additional copies. We will bring any recordings that are left to the next rehearsal on Tuesday, January 14, 2020. Donations toward the cost will be accepted but not required.

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Information regarding DCCC's upcoming 2020 concerts will be listed here soon.

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Effective 2015: Principally because of limited space and our inability to host the performances adequately, we'll no longer attempt to archive DCCC audio-video files here at the site. On special occasions, we or others will post DCCC performances to YouTube and at an appropriate place on the website we'll provide at least temporary links to them for strictly non-commercial purposes.