Board Member Emeritus
Nancy Loder is the Founding Artistic Director of the Berkshire Children’s Chorus, and made her career as the Choral Director for the Southern Berkshire Regional School District (SBRSD), where she developed nine choral ensembles for students in grades three through twelve. She also prepared students to audition for Massachusetts Western District Junior and Senior High Chorus. While at SBRSD, Nancy also initiated a robust Performing Arts program and directed many musicals, including South Pacific and West Side Story. In order to prepare for this choral work, Nancy did extensive study at Westminster Choir College and Hartt School of Music, where she participated in workshops and courses with noted choral educators Doreen Rao, Alan Crowell, and Joseph Flummerfelt, among others.
Nancy started The Berkshire Children’s Chorus (Grades 6-9) with the idea that many students were interested in a more diverse choral experience than was possible within the constraints of the school day, and so this community-based choral program was born. The original Chorus was soon supplemented with the development of Start Up for beginners and Coda for High School students. The chorus was honored to have superb accompanists and guest musicians participate with us over time. Lee Dixon, a noted Berkshire musician and accompanist, served as Berkshire Children’s Chorus’s principle accompanist for more than twenty years.
Over time, Nancy developed collaborative relationships with the Berkshire Bach Society, La’Orchestra, and Berkshire Choral Festival, among others, and the Chorus shared the stage with other talented musicians such as Allan Dean (trumpet), The Rosamund Trio, and Tari Wheeler (flute). The Chorus was honoured to sing along with Metropolitan opera singer Denise Graves at Ozawa Hall.
Nancy’s vision for the Berkshire Children’s Chorus always included expanding the horizons for the children who sang in the Chorus, and making the experience accessible to everyone through scholarship support. Nancy worked with Chorus parents and Board members to organize the Chorus’s participation in several choral tours to such places as Italy, France, Germany, and Canada, where the Chorus sang under the direction of noted choral directors, composers, and artists such as Henry Leck, John Rutter, and Jean Ashworth Bartle. The Chorus’s scholarship fund is named in her honor.
After retiring, Nancy lived in Canada for a number of years, and has now moved back to the Berkshire area.