Inland Children's Chorus Articles Page

Articles Page

This area documents the history of the Chorus through a timeline of feature articles and news clippings. For reviews of specific concerts, which often include significant history, see the programs page.

Foundingo|o|o| 1940|o|o| 1945|o|o| 1950|o|o| 1955|o|o| 1960|o|o| 1965|o|o| After 1970


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Richard B. Westbrock (below right), founding director of the Inland Children's Chorus, organized the Westbrock Singing Boys in 1933. Click on the image below and scroll to view articles that document Richard Westbrock's early musical career and training.

Westbrock Singing Boys


December 1936: The Inlander introduces the Inland Children's Chorus which performed on Sunday, December 20, 1936. Included are a message from Inland general manager Wallace Whittaker, who created the Chorus, and photos of Richard Westbrock, founding director, and Raymond Sovey, Broadway theatrical designer, who staged the performance. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Inlander 1936


June 1937: The Chorus makes its first public appearance on June 4 at a concert that culminates a major drive to support the area Boy and Girl Scouts. Click on the image below and scroll to read The Inlander and newspaper clippings about the program.

Inlander 1937 and Scout Concert


June 1937: The Dayton Journal and The Dayton Daily News report on the first public appearance and praise the value of the Chorus to the children, the arts, and the community. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Reviews of 1937 Scout Concert


September 1937: The Inlander publishes a photo article reporting on a picnic given for Chorus members at Dayton's Triangle Park. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Chorus Picnic September 1, 1937


Fall 1937: A Dayton Philharmonic Association publication announces that the Chorus will perform with the Orchestra at its December 21 concert. Click on the image below to view.

DDN: Dec 19, 1937


December 1937: The Dayton Daily News announces the upcoming concert and praises the Chorus as "that beautiful organization established last year through the ambition and generosity of Wallace Whittaker." Click on the image below and scroll to view.

DDN: Dec 19, 1937


December 1937: The Dayton Journal states that the Chorus "may be described as Dayton's preservation and interpretation of the best traditions of Christmas" and notes that the Chorus "has come to be recognized as one of the outstanding groups of its kind in the United States." Click on the image below to view.

Traditions 1937


December 1937: The Inlander includes photos of Chorus members and clippings from newspaper reviews from the first concert with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Inlander 1937


March 1938: Inland management announces that the increasing number of applications to the Chorus requires specific regulations for membership. These regulations are listed in the article. Click on the image below to view.

Inlander: March 1938


December 1938: A newspaper reports on an upcoming concert at which the Chorus will perform with the Orchestra "Dreams of Spring" by Strauss and "Wynken, Blynken and Nod" by Nevin. Click on the image below to view.

Article December 1938


November 1939: A feature in the Dayton Sunday Journal-Herald reports on the Chorus at practice ("a performance in the making") and offers insight into Richard Westbrock's teaching style. Click on the image below to view.

Teacups Article November 1939


December ca. 1939: A General Motors publication includes a two-page photo spread with names of all the members of "the famous Inland Children's Chorus." Click on the image below to view.

GM Publication ca. 1939

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January 1940: The Inlander includes photos of the concert group and Chorus members with Wallace Whittaker, founding General Manager of Inland. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Inlander: Jan 1940


December 1940: A newspaper photo clipping announces the upcoming concert at the Masonic Temple with the Dayton Philharmonic orchestra. Click on the image below to view.

Photo Clipping - December 1940


December 1940: The Dayton Herald reports on the staging of the Chorus by Raymond Sovey, Broadway theatrical designer and two-time Tony Award nominee. Sovey returned to Dayton frequently to refine his work and address audiences at several concerts. Click on the image below and scroll to view the article and a biography for Sovey.

Raymond Sovey Article


December 1941: The Dayton Sunday Journal-Herald and The Dayton Daily News report that the Chorus will broadcast a performance "over more than 100 stations of the Columbia Broadcasting system network" and locally on WHIO. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Dec 1941 Clippings


December 1941: The Inlander features a photo of the Chorus performing with the Dayton Philharmonic and images from the annual party only two weeks after Pearl Harbor. W. S. Whittaker, General Manager, looks forward to the future when "uncertainty will have been removed." Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Inlander: Dec 1941


January 1943: Theater critic A. S. Kany describes the Chorus performance in the inaugural concert of a series sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce at The Dayton Art Institute. At the intermission, Broadway theatrical designer Raymond Sovey reflects on his "excitement" in working with the Chorus. Click on the image below to view.

Winter 1943


May 1943: The Inlander offers hope in the midst of World War II as it describes upcoming concerts in which the children will "raise their lovely voices to inspire. . . new hope and prophecy of happier days to come" in this "second Spring of America's fight for the freedom of men, women and children everywhere." Click on the image below to view.

Inlander: Dec 1941


December 1943: The Inlander reports that the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra has added an additional performance with the Chorus to accommodate popular demand. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Inlander: Dec 10, 1943


December 1943: The Christmas issue of The Inlander features a dramatic cover with illustration art by George Harr. The issue includes a concert photo and announces upcoming broadcasts on radio stations WHIO and WING. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Inlander: December 1943


May 1944: The Inlander cover shows Angela Mae Lehman who concludes eight years with the Chorus. A four-page spread includes photos of Chorus members and their families as well as a preview of upcoming concerts. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Inlander: May 1944


Fall 1944: An article includes words of appreciation from Angela Mae Lehman, a founding Chorus member (1936-1944) who later performed on Broadway and television under the stage name of Joan Lamont. Click on the image below to view.

Inlander: Fall 1944 Inlander


November 1944: A feature article reports on the visit of Milton Cross ("voice of the Metropolitan Opera") and a special performance by the Chorus. Mr. Cross received a gift album with photo and autographs of Chorus members. Click on the image below and scroll to view the article and related news clippings. See also the Milton Cross photos from this event.

Inlander: Nov 17, 1944


December 1944: The GM national magazine features the Chorus on its cover. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

GM Folks Cover: Dec 1944


December 1944: The Dayton Sunday Journal-Herald includes a cover article with two-page photo spread on the Chorus. Click on the image below and scroll to view. See the original photos by noted photographer James Keen.

Spotlight: Dec 1944


December 1944: The Dayton Daily News includes a photo of Chorus members Linda Crumb and James Lehman in an article describing a pair of upcoming concerts with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Click on the image below to view.

DDN: Dec 1944


December 1944: An article notes the recent extraordinary publicity about the Chorus, which is rapidly becoming "a Christmas institution in Dayton," and the times the Chorus will be heard on two Dayton radio stations (WHIO and WING). Click on the image below to view.

DDN: Dec 1944


December 1944: The Inlander includes a concert Chorus photo and notes that two radio stations will broadcast "The Story of Bethlehem" by the Chorus on Christmas Eve. Click on the image below to view.

Inlander: Dec 1944

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Spring 1945: An article states that the Chorus is "the first of its type to be established by an industrial concern" as it describes a series of upcoming concerts. Click on the image below to view.

Inlander: Spring 1945


Spring 1945: The Dayton Daily News shows Chorus member and newspaperboy Thomas Pfeiffer with director Richard Westbrock preparing for a series of concerts at The Dayton Art Institute. Click on the image below to view.

DDN: May 1945 DDN


December 1945: Newspaper articles describe the upcoming Christmas concert with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra to be broadcast on two radio stations. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

News Article: Dec 1945


December 1945: A newspaper describes the work of Broadway theatrical designer Raymond Sovey, who developed the original staging of the Chorus. Guests at the concert included Charles F. Kettering and other GM executives. Click on the image below to view.

News Article: Dec 1945


September 1946: A full-page ad describes the upcoming musical season. Milton J. Cross, "the voice of the Metropolitan Opera," is quoted as calling the Chorus "one of the most unique and inspiring programs of its kind in the country." Click on the image below to view.

DDN: Sept 22, 1946


December 1947: Two articles describe upcoming performances with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and one highlights the graduation of 16-year-old Patty Weaver, the only chorus member to have sung each of ten years. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

December 1947 Articles

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December 1950: A clipping describes an upcoming concert with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Click on the image below to view.

1950 newspaper clipping


January 1952: A newspaper reports the upcoming national television appearance of the Chorus on Steve Allen's "Stars for Polio." Click on the image below to view the article and autograph of Steve Allen, the first host of NBC's The Tonight Show.

Steve Allen Article: January 1952


October 1953: The Dayton Daily News and the program for the first concert of the Philharmonic season announce the December presentation of Benjamin Britten's Saint Nicolas. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Clipping: Ross and DPO Program


November 1953: Richard Westbrock (below center) meets with tenor David Lloyd (left) of the New York City Opera and guest conductor Hugh Ross (right) of New York's Schola Cantorum in preparation for the world premiere stage production of Benjamin Britten's Saint Nicolas. Click on the image below and scroll to view newspaper reports and the final practice schedule prior to the concert.

Clipping: Ross, Lloyd, Westbrock


December 1953: A newspaper photo feature shows the costuming planned for the upcoming production of Benjamin Britten's Saint Nicolas. Click on the image below to view.

DDN: Dec Nicolas Costumes


December 1953: Eleazar de Carvalho (below left), conductor of the Rio de Janeiro Symphony Orchestra, congratulates Hugh Ross (center) and Richard Westbrock (right) on the production of Britten's Saint Nicolas. Click on the image below and scroll to see news photos and an invitation to a reception hosted by civic leader Miriam Rosenthal. See reviews with the 1953 Nicolas Concert program.

DJH: Carvalho Clipping

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January 1955: Published editorials and obituaries lament the sudden death of founding director Richard B. Westbrock. John D. O'Brien, Inland General Manager, writes that "Richard Westbrock's influence will be felt for a great many years in our community." Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Inlander: O'Brien Letter


April 1955: John D. O'Brien declares the company's intention to continue the Inland Children's Chorus and describes why an industrial corporation would sponsor such an activity. Click on the image below to view.

Inlander: O'Brien Statement


Summer 1955: The Inlander announces the appointment of Joseph P. Geiger who directed the Chorus from 1955 to 1970. Click on the image below to view.

Inlander: Geiger Appointment Article


December 1955: The GM national magazine includes a feature article on the Chorus ("one of the country's outstanding children's singing groups") with behind-the-scenes photos. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

GM Folks Article: Dec 1955


February 1956: Two newspaper articles announce upcoming performances that will include Franck's "Panis Angelicus" and Moeller's "The Happy Wanderer." Shown below (from left) are Nancy Donisi, Joe Sharp, and Frances Little. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

DDN: Feb 1956


February 1956: Concerts at The Dayton Art Institute often included multiple performances to accommodate large audiences. Click on the image below and scroll to view a news clipping and photo of the Italian Renaissance style Dayton Art Institute building.

Inlander: Art Institute Performance 1956


April 1956: The Inlander announces the Chorus graduates and the upcoming spring concert. Click on the image below to view.

Inlander: Graduates 1956


December 1956: A newspaper clipping shows Joseph Geiger rehearsing Chorus members for an upcoming concert with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Click on the image below to view.

DDN: Geiger with boys 1956


December 1956: The annual Christmas concert helps open the newly remodeled three-thousand-seat Memorial Hall. Click on the image below and scroll to view both the clipping below and a photo of Memorial Hall, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Inlander: Memorial Hall Opening with Geiger 1956


December 1956: The Christmas issue of The Inlander features a full front-page illustration and a second page report on a joint concert with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Inlander: December 1956


February 1957: Newspaper articles report on two upcoming performances at The Dayton Art Institute. One clipping features a photo of six members from two families. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

DDN: Clippings Feb 1957


July 1957: A photo feature shows images from the annual picnic at LeSourdsville Lake Amusement Park. Click on the image below to view.

Inlander: Picnic Feature 1957


December 1957: The Christmas issue of The Inlander includes a feature article on the Chorus with photos in the practice room at The Loretto. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Inlander: Dec 1957


May 1958: An article reports on the Chorus members who graduated at the recent concert and describes the tribute given for the 50th anniversary of General Motors Corporation. Click on the image below to view.

Graduates 1958


April 1959: A clipping announces Chorus members who graduated at the recent concert. Click on the image below to view.

Graduates 1959


Fall 1959: A news clipping reports that Joseph P. Geiger has 245 children rehearsing, seventy of which are "new this year and many will find a place in the famed singing group, which is starting its 24th season." Click on the image below to view.

Geiger Shoe Clipping 1959


December 1959: A cover feature includes photos of Chorus members who will participate in the upcoming Christmas concert, which "will mark the official opening of the Christmas Season for some 2,500 Daytonians." Click on the image below to view.

Inlander: December 1959

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May 1960: The Inlander shows Chorus graduates honored and the "senior chorus" introduced at the spring concert. Shown as well are Frederic Donner, GM Chairman, and other GM executives who reportedly attended the concert. Click on the image below to view.

Inlander: May 18, 1960


November 1960: The Inlander announces the Silver Anniversary Concert with a front-page spread on the history of the Inland Children's Chorus. Click on the image below to view.

Inlander: Nov 1960


December 1960: A newspaper reports on the upcoming Silver Anniversary concert to be held December 13. The article notes that the chorus made its first appearance on December 20, 1936. Click on the image below to view.

Clipping: Dec 1960


January 1961: The Inlander includes photos from the Silver Anniversary concert and announces the retirement of John D. O'Brien who is presented plaque from members of the Chorus. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Inlander: Jan 1961


April 1961: An article announces 19 members to graduate at the upcoming concert. Click on the image below to view.

Clipping: 1961 Graduates


December 1963: A feature article with photos describes a typical Chorus practice. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Inlander: Dec 1963


January 1964: An article includes behind-the-scenes photos from the Christmas concert. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Inlander: Concert Summary 1964


April 1964: The Inlander and a newspaper clipping announce the graduates to be recognized at the upcoming spring concert on May 12. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Inlander: Graduates 1964

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May 1965: A feature article in Dayton USA profiles the Chorus and details the educational value that comes from performing before audiences, including "the need of being attuned to others." Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Dayton USA feature: May 1965


May 1965: An article quotes Chorus graduates who reflect on the value of their experience and includes a photo with Judy Westbrock, the last of the founding director's children to participate. Click on the image below to view.

Inlander: Graduates 1965


November 1965: A cover article announces the upcoming concert that will include "special stage effects." Click on the image below to view.

Inlander: 30th Anniversary Concert 1965


December 1965: The Inlander describes upcoming television appearances and introduces James A. Will, the new accompanist for the Chorus. Click on the image below to view.

Inlander TV and James Will 1965


January 1966: An article describes the 1965 Christmas concert at Memorial Hall and a special television appearance, including behind-the-scenes photos of the preparations. Click on the image below to view.

Inlander: TV Appearance 1965


May 1966: Graduating Chorus members suggest the educational power of music and performance through "self-discipline" and "satisfaction out of working to entertain people." Click on the image below to view.

Inlander: May 1966


May 1966: A newspaper reports the largest number of graduates to complete service with the Chorus. Click on the image below to view.

Clipping: May 1966


December 1966: A newspaper insert announces the upcoming Christmas special with the Chorus on Dayton's NBC affiliate hosted by Johnny Gilbert, long-time announcer and the distinctive voice of the television game show Jeopardy. Click on the image below to view.

News Insert: 1966 TV Special


December 1966: An article reports that the Chorus will appear for the second consecutive year on Johnny Gilbert's "Christmas at Home." Click on the image below to view.

Inlander: Dec 1966 TV Special


January 1967: An article describes the 1966 Christmas concert and later television appearance with behind-the-scenes photos. Click on the image below to view.

Inlander 1967: 1966 TV Special


December 1967: A clipping shows the concert and junior choruses in a scene from the 1967 Christmas concert at Memorial Hall. Click on the image below to view.

Inlander: 1967 Christmas Concert


January 1968: A cover article describes a White House performance by former Chorus member Joy Clements (née Joyce Marie Albrecht) and her substantial career as a lyric coloratura soprano at the Metropolitan Opera. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

DDN: Joy Clements Feature 1968


January 1968: An entertainment listing features former Chorus member Joseph Merrill Albrecht (and brother of Joy Clements) who will perform with his wife Peggy at Wright State University in A German Requiem by Brahms. Click on the image below to view.

DDN: Albrecht Announcement 1968


April 1968: A cover article describes two generations of Chorus members: LaDonna (Beatty) White and her daughters Marilyn Jean and Gretchen. The upcoming concert on May 14 will honor the Chorus graduates. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Inlander: LaDonna White and Daughters 1968


May 1968: A photo feature shows a scene from the May 14 concert and includes photos of graduate Mark Magee and the Chappie family Chorus alumni. Click on the image below.

Inlander: Spring Photo Feature 1968


May 1968: The Inlander eulogizes long-time General Manager J. D. O'Brien and announces the retirement of Marcella Sprauer who is shown with a Chorus scrapbook she maintained since the Chorus' inception. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Inlander: O'Brien Eulogy and Marcella Sprauer 1968


April 1970: An article announces the Chorus graduates and describes the upcoming May 12 concert at which "former Chorus graduates Joan and Jane Boston, Alfred Wimmers and Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Schamel will be featured soloists and dancers." Click on the image below to read details of what would be the final performance of the Inland Children's Chorus.

Inlander: Graduates 1970


July 1970: Inland General Manager T.O. Mathues writes to parents on the official dissolution of the Inland Children's Chorus and fine arts editor Betty Dietz reports in The Dayton Daily News. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

ICC Dissolution Article

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December 1995: Matt Phelan (below right), former member and Atlanta graphic design executive, developed a tribute publication as well as restored recordings on cassette tape that he distributed free of charge. Click on the image below and scroll to view both a front-page article about his efforts and his extensive scrapbook.

DDN: Phelan Article and Scrapbook 1995


February 2008: A biography of Sister Dorothy Stang, The Greatest Gift, traces her early life that includes her time in the Chorus. The book focuses on her death as she worked to preserve the Amazon Basin in Brazil. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Feb 2008: The Greatest Gift


May 2010: Former members meet at Wright State University to establish the Inland Children's Chorus Collection and the partnership of Special Collections and Archives with InlandChorus.com. Click on the image below and scroll to view an article about this meeting.

DDN: May 28, 2010


April 2012: Special Collections publishes an "Out of the Box" blog posting noting the 2012 Luncheon and exhibit of items to be delivered to Wright State University. Click on the image below and scroll to view a screen capture.

DDN: April 18, 2013


April 2013: Print and online editions of an article appear in the Dayton Daily News the week prior to the 2013 annual luncheon. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

DDN: April 18, 2013


August 2013: The Sunday Dayton Daily News "Life and Arts" section includes a front-page article on the Chorus by staff writer Meredith Moss with photos by Peter Wine from the 2013 luncheon. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

DDN: August 11, 2013


April 2014: Meredith Moss includes an announcement with details of the upcoming luncheon in the Sunday Dayton Daily News "Life and Arts" section. Click on the image below to view.

DDN: April 20, 2014


April 2015: An article with photo in the Sunday Dayton Daily News "Life and Arts" section announces the upcoming luncheon. This piece and earlier ones resulted in new attendees. Click on the image below to view.

DDN: April 19, 2015


December 2016: The Chorus is highlighted in Gal Gumshoe, a blog hosted by M. Ruth Myers, author of a popular mystery series that features the character Maggie Sullivan, a Depression era private investigator. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

Blog: Dec 2016


April 2017: The Chorus is profiled in the online History Extra section of the Dayton Daily News with images from InlandChorus.com and story by Lisa Powell of the Cox Media Group. Click on the image below and scroll to view.

History Extra: April 2017