Chorus Director and Officers 2023
Front Row (left to right):
Dottie Shirley, Director
Ana Pollock, President
Bob Massey, Vice President
Deborah Hays, Treasurer
Brenda Merz, Secretary
Marjorie Hairston, Immediate Past President
Not available for photo:
Jim Buchanan, Vice President
Dottie Shirley, Director
Dottie Shirley is just one of those people who has always "done music". Growing up with talented siblings, having the opportunity to sit under many wonderful directors through high school, college and church, rearing very talented, musical children, she comes to a point in her life where she agreed to accept the position of Salado Community Chorus director. She has been a participant in this organization for at least 10 years serving under own husband, Jakie Shirley, who was the director of the group for about 4 years prior to Jim Mohon. During this period of time, Dottie directed the Women's Ensemble.
Most of her experience has been serving in a church setting. Her husband, Jakie Shirley, was a Minister of Music. Needless to say, Dottie was a soloist and children choir coordinator and director. She also did a lot of long term music "subbing" in Pasadena and Lancaster when they lived in the Dallas area.
Dottie says, "This group of people who make up the Salado Community Chorus are some of the dearest folks in the world. They are faithful, pleasant and talented folks. Our organization is not an auditioned group but they love to sing and they do it well. I feel very honored to be their director."
Dr. David Albee, Pianist
Dr. David Albee has performed extensively as piano soloist, accompanist, and chamber music recitalist throughout the United States including soloist with the Detroit and Des Moines symphonies; pianist for the Waco Symphony (14 seasons), Pittsburgh Symphony, Erie (PA) Philharmonic, Wheeling (WV) Symphony, and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre orchestra; founding member of the Baylor and Drake trios; and accompanist for the Canton (OH) Symphony Chorus, Children's Festival Chorus of Pittsburgh, and Opera Omaha. He also has published reviews in professional journals and has made recordings including a solo piano recording chosen as one of the annual "Ten Best Classical Recordings" by Time Magazine.
Dr. Albee has an extensive teaching career having served as artist/teacher on the Baylor University faculty for 15 years. He also has held positions at Drake, Grace, Geneva, and Carnegie Mellon universities. He earned the Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree in Piano Performance from the University of Texas at Austin as well as degrees from the University of Evansville and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
The Chorus rehearses on Tuesday evenings from 6:00 - 7:30 PM at the Salado Civic Center, 601 North Main Street, Salado, TX 76571, and other times as needed. We begin our Fall semester in mid-August and continue through the Christmas Concert occuring in mid-December shortly after the Salado Christmas Stroll during the first two weekends in December. The Spring semester begins mid-January and runs through the Spring Concert in late April.
The Chorus was organized in 1994 as a Ladies Chorale under the direction of Katherine Wende. Ms. Wende served until 1999 when Dr. Betty Thorne, a member of the chorus, became the Director and formed a mixed Chorus to include male voices. Dr. Mike Bergman, a chorus member, assumed the directorship on Dr. Thorne’s retirement in 2004. Dr. Van Cura, having served the chorus as accompanist since 2003, accepted the Director position in the fall of 2005. Jakie Shirley became Director in 2009 and served in that capacity until June 2014. Chorus member Jim Mohon then served as Director through Spring 2017. Upon Jim's move out of the area, Dottie Shirley assumed the baton and continues through the present.
Pianists have been:
Marge Kirkman, 1994
Judy Barry, 2002
Liz Milne, 2008