DOERS: Telluride Choral Society’s Rhonda Muckerman

DOERS: Telluride Choral Society’s Rhonda Muckerman

[click “Play” for Rhonda’s DOERS conversation with Susan]

08 May concert Rh and Ellen
Rhonda and daughter Ellen

An inspired musician and teacher named John Yankee was the driving force behind, and first director of the Telluride Choral Society in 1995. Yankee created a community within a community for both kids and adults, and developed the ever popular “Sings.” When Yankee left in 2002, Dr. David Lingle stepped into those large boots, leaving his distinct imprint on Telluride’s sonic landscape: Masterworks, musicals with the Telluride Repertory Theatre, collaborations with the Telluride Dance Academy. Now Lingle has left town, heading for red dirt country and another chorus to lead. Taking up his baton, the Telluride Choral Society’s first woman director, Doer #366: Rhonda Muckerman.

Rhonda was on a Grail quest to find her spiritual family, when she moved to Telluride – a place she saw in a dream, but had never heard of – right around the time Yankee & Friends founded the Telluride Choral Society. She pulled into town one balmy July day. Lots of people were milling around Main Street and a film by Almodovar was playing at The Nugget. A foreign film in a pea-sized town? Promising. A meeting with Telluride Choral Society member/ music teacher Ulli Sir Jesse sealed the deal. After a brief trip back to Seattle where she had been teaching music, Rhonda returned in August and had 25 students within a month. In short order, she also met her husband-to-be, Peter Muckerman, at a meditation class, an event two psychics in San Diego predicted would happen: “There’s a man and a little boy waiting for you.” (Muckerman has a son Elliot.) Kismet in 3-D.

Poster1 En route to the Telluride Choral Society’s podium, Rhonda taught kids brass and woodwind, sang in Yankee’s Telluride Chorale (auditioned singers), and joined the a cappella group Heartbeat. For the past five years, she has been running the music program in Norwood, where she and Peter live with their daughter Ellen.

The Telluride Choral Society’s upcoming SpringSing 2010, Thursday, March 25, and Friday, March 26, 7 p.m. at Christ Church, 434 West Columbia Avenue, is billed as an evening  of “fun and uplifting” music by American composers. The concert’s theme, “Keep on Singing,” is a direct quote from Yankee when he left town.

“My hope is that this program inspires people to sing again – a number of singers left over the years – and reenergizes the base. ‘Keep on Singing’ draws its music from American composers, folk composers such as Aaron Copland, traditional fiddle tunes, contemporary composers such as Morten Lauridsen, modern pop like that of Natasha Bedingfield, and songs from movies such as ‘The Aristocats’ and ‘Lord of the Rings.’ All the music has inspiring messages of hope, healing, and new beginnings – which is exactly where TCS is.”

To learn more about Rhonda and how she got here from there, click the “play” button and listen to the story of her life in her own words as told in her podcast.

DOERS: Rhonda Muckerman

By Susan Viebrock

 Time in Town: 15 years
 Age/Place of Birth: 45, Clifton, New Jersey
 Marital Status: Happily married to Peter
 Philosophy of Life: We are here for a reason—find out what it is!
 Favorite Books: Eat, Pray, Love
 Favorite Movies:  “You’ve got Mail” (I’m a softie for chick-flicks)
 Favorite Music: Whatever I am currently working on—right now, “Sure on this Shining Night” by Morten Lauridsen—come hear it this week at Spring Sing!
 Favorite Musicians: So many, but I love the voice of Sarah MacLachlan
 Favorite Animals: This may be politically incorrect, but I really don’t have an affinity for animals.  Though, I do love birds.
 My Last Meal Would Be: A tall glass of water
 Tragic Flaw /If I Could Change One Thing About Myself: I would want to be more humble.
 Favorite Hangout/Retreat:  My tempurpedic mattress!
 A Really Perfect Day: Any day when I am victorious over the challenges I have faced.
 Most Influenced By: My parents, so many conductors like Stan DeRusha, Eugene Corporon, my close friends, my husband, Peter, and my daughter, Ellen.
 Favorite Childhood Memory: Being with my grandmother, Victoria, racing down the street, and eating Carvel ice cream.
 Friends in School Thought I Was:  Kind of strange—none of my friends were into music.
Growing Up I Wanted To Be:  The best version of myself possible.
If I Could Be Something/Someone Else:  I don’t  want to be someone else.
Person I’d Like to Meet the Most:  Jerry Seinfeld
Actor Who Would Play Me:  I don’t have at TV, nor do I get out to see movies very often, so I honestly don’t know who could play me.
When I Grow Up I Want to Be:  Me, only better, smarter, more calm.
I Would Never:  Get plastic surgery.
What I Can’t Bear to Throw Out:  I love throwing things out!
Last Purchase:  New dishes—-the old ones were terribly cracked and chipped.
Greatest Indulgence:  Rice pasta with loads of garlic butter.
Most Prized Possession: My family.
Weirdest Artifact Collected: I tend to throw things out—-sometimes too quickly!
Favorite Word/ Phrase:  Peace.
Least Favorite Word/Phrase: Hurry up!
Fitness Routine:  Absolutely none—this is one of my flaws.
Proudest Accomplishment:  My family
Wildest Dream:  I just want to live in reality—I’m not into “wild.”
Biggest Challenge:  Juggling it all, and staying calm.
No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.