With a population of over 1.6 million people, Idaho is the 14th largest and the 7th least populated state with around 38% of its land held by the United States Forest Service, the most of any state. Since the mid-1970s, the Palouse Choral Society has been serving the quad–city region by “celebrating choral music through masterful performances, educational outreach, and cultural enrichment with singers from the Palouse, Valley, Prairie, and Clearwater regions.”
The group typically performs four concerts a year under their new music director, Dr. Sarah Graham. “Music is a way we can affect and have an effect on people emotionally and mentally,” Graham said. “I think in the choral arts we can create programs that educate and open people up to new ideas and cultures. The choral arts embody the traditions of societies across the globe. These traditions and the cultures that come with them can be shared through choir. When these different cultures are shared, an empathetic understanding is developed for the different type of people that inhabit our planet.”
Her programming for the upcoming season will do just that with programs that include Christmas music from around the world, a concert dedicated to the genre of African-American Spirituals, and a concert tribute to Native American cultures.
The group recently started a Palouse/Two Rivers Beer Choir chapter, which is part of a national phenomenon promoting social singing at bars, pubs, and breweries, and in the fall of 2015, they established the PCS Children’s Choir for 4th – 8th grade program students to foster a new generation of singing in the Palouse and Valley regions.