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about our choir

The Wausau Lutheran Choir was founded in 1972 by Lowell Larson as an adult vocal ensemble specializing in the performance of sacred music. Drawing on an enthusiastic membership from Luther congregations, the Choir quickly earned recognition for excellent performances, especially in the music of F. Melius Christiansen. Under the leadership of Mr. Larson, the choir toured the upper Midwest, performing in Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin. During this time, the Choir recorded seven albums for public distribution.

With the Spring Concert of 1981, Lowell Larson's tenure came to a close. He was succeeded by Phillip Buch, a Wausau native (and former high school student of Mr. Larson), who went on to study choral conducting with Robert Fountain at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the spring of 1985, the Choir was one of nine chosen nationwide to appear with the American Symphony Orchestra at the Lincoln Performing Arts Center in New York City. In addition to its traditional concerts in Wausau and the region, Phillip Buch led the Choir in its first performance abroad.

In 1987, the Choir was selected as one of three choirs to represent the United States in a performance of Verdi's Requiem with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London's Royal Festival hall. During Mr. Buch's nine-year tenure as Director, the Choir routinely sang to capacity houses, produced two record albums, and was invited to perform with the American Symphony Orchestra and the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra.

Dr. David Saladino, Director of choral Music at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, was the Choir's director for the 1990-1991 concert season. During his brief tenure with the group, Dr. Saladino brought a classical flair to the Choir's repertoire. He left the area in 1991 to pursue career opportunities elsewhere.

Dr. Eric Townell, Director of the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, became the Choir's fourth director in the fall of 1991. With his background in classical music and the orchestra, Dr. Townell expanded the Choir's repertoire by combining with the Central Wisconsin Symphony and other small orchestral groups for performances. Planning for a European tour, a new recording and the Summer Serenade was begun during his tenure.

In 1995-96, the name of the group was changed to the Wausau Lyric Choir to reflect the ecumenical nature of its membership and supporters. Larry Brandenburg was chosen as the Choir's fifth director. As Minister of Music for First Presbyterian Church, Wausau, he brought a strong background in sacred musical literature to the group. In his first season, Mr. Brandenburg produced a CD recording and prepared the Choir for its European tour. In June 1996 the Choir performed concerts during a tour of Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic. During the 1997-98 season, the Choir celebrated its 25th anniversary and began sharing concerts with other local arts groups. The choir has performed with the Odyssey Brass, Allegro Dance Company, Wausau Pro Musica, Wausau Conservatory of Music Choraliers, and the Wausau Symphonic Band. In the spring of 1999, the Wausau Lyric Choir became a member of the Performing Arts Foundation. Also in 1999, the choir produced its second CD and eleventh recording.

In the fall of 2000, Lucinda J. Thayer, Director of Choral Music at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, was named as the choir's sixth director. During her tenure the choir gave two complete performances of Handel's Messiah, collaborated with the Monteverdi Master chorale in a performance of Mozart's C Minor Mass and as well as performances of the Verdi Requiem and the Brahms Deutsches Requiem. Lucy  also invited area school groups to join them in concerts. Under her beloved leadership, the choir was chosen to perform at a Wisconsin Choral Directors Association conference in Sioux Falls, SD. She completed three international tours with the choir. She remained active as a guest conductor and adjudicator during her tenure with the choir.

Ann Applegate joined the choir as its accompanist in 1995. She is an artist and instructor of piano at the Wausau Conservatory of Music and a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County.


meet the artistic visionaries


Carla Dul

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Carla Dul is the Choral Director of the Wausau Lyric Choir. She is currently the Vocal Music Director at Mosinee High School and has held this teaching position for over 30 years. She is a member of the American Choral Director's Association, Wisconsin Music Educators Association (WMEA), National Association of Teachers of Singing as well as a former North Central President for WMEA. Ms. Dul is also a master adjudicator and clinician for solo ensemble and concert festivals for the Wisconsin State Music Association.

Under the direction of Ms. Dul, the Mosinee High School Concert Choir has appeared at Carnegie Hall on two occasions, performing Mozart's Requiem in addition to a concert featuring the music of Andre Thomas. Ms. Dul's choir has also been featured in concerts with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO), performing Beethoven's Mass in C Major and most recently, in collaboration with Randall Swiggum, performing Vivaldi's Gloria with MSO.


Ann Applegate

Ann Applegate is an Artist/Instructor of Piano at the Wausau Conservatory of Music and is also on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County (UWMC). She performs in faculty recitals, guest performances, outreach performances in the public school system and performances on the Wisconsin Pubic Radio series “Live from the Elvehjem.” Recent performing highlights include two appearances at Carnegie Hall—One with the UWMC College Chorale and another with violinist R. Todd Ehle in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Ms. Applegate has appeared as piano soloist with the Wausau Symphony and Band and has accompanied Wausau Pro Musica, UWMC College Chorale, and UWMC New Dimension. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance from Central Michigan University and a Master’s Degree in Piano Pedagogy from the University of Oregon in Eugene.

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