Chagrin Valley Choral Union

Celebrating more than 60 years of choral excellence....
" support classical choral music literature...."


The Chagrin Valley Choral Union is a not-for-profit choral group dedicated to providing a unique opportunity for singers and music lovers to perform the masterworks of choral literature for residents of the Chagrin Valley and the greater Northeast Ohio region. The roster of singers is as diverse as the music we perform. We welcome all types of singers ranging from professional musicians to church and community group participants. We take pride in our dedication to learning and making music while maintaining a family friendly and caring environment.

In 1953, James A. Raftus, the Director of Music at the Methodist Church in Chagrin Falls, first performed Handel's Messiah as a Christmas gift for his congregation and the Chagrin Valley area. To do the work justice, Mr. Raftus invited the choir members of St. Martin's Episcopal Church to join his singers.

Over the next 61 years, the Chagrin Valley Choral Union, as it came to be known, has performed many major sacred and secular works, some in collaboration with other area musical organizations, including Mendelssohn's Elijah, masses by Mozart, & Fauré, Randall Thompson's Testament of Freedom, Rossini's Stabat Mater, Brahms' German Requiem, Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio, Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, Charpentier's Te Deum, Schubert's Mass in G, Dvořák's Mass in D, Pergolesi's Magnificat, Puccini's Magnificat, Pachelbel's Magnificat, Vivaldi's Magnificat, Bach's Magnificat, Sternkopf's Magnificat and Mozart's Requiem.

Mr. Raftus was the first of only six directors, including A. Edward Battaglia II, Kurt Sauer, Edward E. Wiles, Edward A. Shure and now, in his eleventh season, J.D. Goddard, to lead the Chagrin Valley Choral Union.

Mission Statement

The mission of The Chagrin Valley Choral Union is to enrich its audiences through innovative programming and exceptional performances of a broad range of classical sacred and secular choral music literature.

Inherent in its mission is the Chagrin Valley Choral Union's belief that choral music is a compelling collaboration that creates a powerful, shared experience unifying listeners and musicians of all backgrounds, beliefs and ages.

If you are interested in singing with the Chagrin Valley Choral Union, please feel free to attend our rehearsals at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 7196 SOM Center Road (Rt. 91) in Solon. Rehearsals are on Sundays from 7:00-9:00 p.m. weekly from September - December and from January - April.

Board of Directors

Renee Karns
Patrick Byers
Bernd Forwick
Julie Denker
Public Relations Manager
--(this position is currently open)--
Member-at-Large/Chorus Representative
Marianne Berzinskas
Artistic Director
J.D. Goddard (ex officio)

Note: Chagrin Valley Choral Union is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, and operates within formal Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws in the state of Ohio. Membership dues, augmented by periodic fund-raisers, donations from concerts, and interested persons and businesses currently fund the Choral Union. Donations may be tax deductable; consult your tax advisor for guidance.