Pepper Spotlight: The Susquehanna Chorale


The Susquehanna Chorale, founded in 1981 by Artistic Director Linda Tedford, has emerged as one of the outstanding choral ensembles in the United States.  The 36-voice chamber choir is recognized by critics and audiences alike for its commitment to excellence and for its artistic interpretation of choral works of many styles and historical periods. Reflecting its dedication to the music of our time, the group has performed the East Coast premieres of many outstanding works, and it has commissioned several new works for its concert series.  Past seasons have included performances at the Washington National Cathedral, conventions of the American Choral Directors Association,   the PA House of Representatives at the State Capitol, and most recently at Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York.  The Chorale has also toured Great Britain, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. In addition to performing regularly with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, the Susquehanna Chorale is the Ensemble in Residence at Messiah College in Grantham, PA.  The Susquehanna Chorale is honored to be the recipient of Chorus America’s highest national award: The Margaret Hillis Achievement Award for Choral Excellence.  The group’s CDs have received national recognition, with three – Sing Me to Heaven,  Wondrous Love and American Treasures – receiving consideration for a Grammy nomination.

As further evidence of its mission to promote the choral art, the Chorale co-sponsored the Central PA Choral Festival for seventeen years, bringing internationally known conductors to Central Pennsylvania.

The Susquehanna Chorale is also known for its educational outreach program for area students between grades three and twelve.  In addition, it sponsors a conducting internship for area college students. This educational outreach program consists of four programs:

  • The Susquehanna Youth Chorale, directed by George H. Diehl, provides a focused rehearsal and performing opportunity for students within the Susquehanna Valley. The Youth Chorale was founded in 1988 and consists of 60 students in grades nine through freshman year of college.
  • The Susquehanna Children’s Chorale, directed by Judith A. Shepler, provides a focused rehearsal and performing opportunity for students within a one-hour radius of the Harrisburg, PA area. The Children’s Chorale was founded in 1992 and includes approximately 60 musicians in grades four through eight.
  • The Susquehanna Young Women’s Chorale, directed by Dru Kepner, provides a focused rehearsal and performing opportunity for young female singers with in the Susquehanna Valley.
  • The Susquehanna Preparatory Choir, directed by Judith A. Shepler, was added to the Educational Outreach family of choirs in the spring of 2008. This choral experience is offered for students in the 3rd grade.

The Founder, Artistic Director, and Conductor of the Susquehanna Chorale is Linda L. Tedford. Ms. Tedford holds a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Temple University, where she studied with internationally renowned conductor Robert Page. She pursued additional study at Westminster Choir College, as well as with prominent conductors such as Robert Shaw, Gregg Smith, and Dale Warland, and with voice teachers Robert Grooters and Thomas Houser. She is an active member of Chorus America, the American Choral Directors Association, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and the National Association for Music Education. Ms. Tedford is a frequent guest conductor and clinician.

Ms. Tedford is responsible for the creation of the Chorale’s Educational Outreach program, which reaches hundreds of local student singers annually. She is also Director of Choral Activities at Messiah College in Grantham, PA, where she teaches conducting and conducts the Concert Choir, the Chamber Singers and the Messiah College Choral Arts Society. In 1994 Ms. Tedford and the Susquehanna Chorale received Chorus America’s highest lifetime award, The Margaret Hillis Achievement Award for Choral Excellence. Ms. Tedford is the 2011 recipient of ACDA-PA’s Elaine Brown Award for Choral Excellence for outstanding lifelong work in the choral art. In 2013 she received Theatre Harrisburg’s Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts in the Capital Region.

Christmas 2015

O Come, O Come Emmanuel – arr. Alice Parker and Robert Shaw; Comfort, Comfort – arr. John Ferguson; Laud to the Nativity – Ottorino Respighi; O Come, All Ye Faithful – arr. David Willcocks; What Child Is This? – arr. Dale Warland; Ding Dong! Merrily on High – arr. Stephen Paulus; How Still He Rests – Brent Pierce; I Wonder as I Wander – arr. Steve Pilkington; Good Christian Men, Rejoice! – arr. Dan Forrest; White Christmas – Irving Berlin arr. Roy Ringwald; Rudolphus Rubrinasus – Johnny Marks arr. Philip Brunelle; Jingle, Bells – J. Pierpont arr. Mack Wilberg; Silent Night – arr. Malcolm Sargent

Christmas 2016

Of the Father’s Love Begotten – arr. Dale Warland; Weihnachten – Felix Mendelssohn; There Shall a Star from Jacob Come Forth (from Christus) – Felix Mendelssohn; In dulci jubilo – arr. Matthew Culloton; Carol of the Magi – John Rutter; A Little Child there Is born – Alan Bullard; Fantasia on Christmas Carols – Ralph Vaughan Williams; God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen  – arr. David Willcocks; Hark, the Herald Angels Sing – arr. David Willcocks; O Little Town of Bethlehem – arr. Dale Warland; Ding Dong! Merrily on High – arr. Carolyn Jennings; Snow Had Fallen; Christ Was Born – Stephen Paulus; Patapan – arr. Edwin Fissinger; The First Noel – Dan Forrest; We Wish You a Merry Christmas – arr. Paul Johnson; Christmas Time Is Here – arr. John Alexander;

Christmas Is Coming – arr. Mack Wilberg; Silent Night – arr. Malcolm Sargent

Christmas 2017

A Ceremony of Carols – Benjamin Britten; Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming – arr. Jan Sandstrom; Sweet Was the Song – Matthew Brown; Angel Alleluias – Alan Bullard; See Amid the Winter’s Snow – arr. Dan Forrest; Sing We Now of Christmas – arr. Fred Prentice; El Rorro (The Babe) – arr. Jeffrey Van; This Christmastide – Donald Fraser; My Lord has Come – Will Todd; O Come all Ye Faithful – arr. David Wilcocks; Silent Night – arr. Malcolm Sargent

Spring 2016 – “Sing Me to Heaven”

Alleluia – Jake Runestad; O Salutaris Hostia – Ēriks Ešenvalds; Entreat Me Not to Leave You – Dan Forrest; Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal – arr. Alice Parker; Swing Low, Sweet Chariot – arr. Robert Shaw/Alice Parker; Take Me to the Water – arr. Alice Parker; My Song in the Night – arr. Mack Wilberg; Bound for the Promised Land – arr. Mack Wilberg; Sure on This Shining Night – Morten Lauridsen; Stars – Eriks Esenvalds; Chautauqua Requiem – Bob Chilcott; Sing Me to Heaven – Daniel E. Gawthrop; i thank you God – Elliot Z. Levine; Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star – arr. Daniel Elder; Gabriel – Paul Caldwell/Sean Ivory

Spring 2017 – “The Promise of Living”

Sing Joyfully – William Byrd; If Ye Love Me – Thomas Tallis; Jubilate Deo – Peter Angeleo; Do Not Be Afraid – Phillip Stopford; Rejoice in the Lamb – Benjamin Britten; There Will Be Rest – Frank Ticheli; How Do I Love Thee? – Eric Nelson; The Gift to Be Simple – arr. Bob Chilcott; No Time -Susan Brumfield; The Promise of Living (The Tender Land) – Aaron Copland; Our Time (Merrily We Roll Along) – Stephen Sondheim arr. Robert Page; No One Has Ever Loved Me (Passion) – Stephen Sondheim arr. Robert Page; Make Our Garden Grow (Candide) – Leonard Bernstein arr. Robert Page

Spring 2018 (May 11 & 12) – “Roots & Wings”

Let the People Praise Thee, O God – William Mathias; Die mit Tranen saen – Heinrich Schutz; Cantique de Jean Racine – Gabriel Faure; Bach (Again) Come Sweet Death – J. S. Bach arr. Rhonda Sandberg ; Alleluia – Ralph Manuel; By and By – arr . Carol Barnett; There’s a City Called Heaven – Robert Page; Yonder come day – arr. Paul John Rudoi; Jenny Rebecca – Carol Hall arr. Clair T. McElfresh; Only in Sleep – Eriks Esenvalds; Remember Me – Bob Chilcott

Songs from Early America: Nelly Bly – Stephen Foster arr. Jack Halloren; Aura Lee – George Poulton arr. Parker/Shaw; From Old American Songs: Long Time Ago – arr. Aaron Copland; I Bought Me a Cat – arr. Aaron Copland; The Singing Heart – Bob Chilcott; From Three American Songs: Angel Band – arr. Shawn Kirchner; Unclouded Day – arr. Shawn Kirchner


Youth Choral Festival 2017


Da Pacem Domine – Melchior Franck, arr. Mary Goetze; Come With Hearts and Voices Sounding – Johann Sebastian Bach, arr. K. Lee Scott; Pie Jesu – Mary Lynn Lightfoot; Old Joe Clark – arr. Judith Herrington and Sara Glick; Oh Shenandoah – arr. Ruth Elaine Schram; Metsa Telegramm “The Woodpecker’s Warning” – Una Naissoo; Peace on Earth – Paul Carey; America the Beautiful – Samuel Ward, arr. Nancy Grundahl


Let all the People Praise Thee, O God – William Mathias; Bach (Again) – arr. Rhonda Sandberg; Yonder Come Day – arr. Paul John Rudoi


Gloria – Ola Gjeilo; Esto les Digo – Kinley Lange; Heart, We Will Forget Him – Victor C. Johnson; Go Where I send Thee – Caldwell and Ivory


Hlohonolofatsa – arr. Daniel Jackson; Mon-Ke-Ya – arr. Zack Taylor; Count on It! – Kevin A. Memley; Capelinha de Melao – arr. Will Lopes; Nyon Nyon – Jake Runestad

Combined Choirs

Anthem of Peace – arr. Mack Wilberg


Shop all Susquehanna Chorale’s repertoire

Shop all Susquehanna Youth Chorale’s repertoire

Tom Dean
Tom Dean
Tom Dean is a Choral Editor, and the Elementary and Secondary General Music Editor for J.W. Pepper & Son, Inc. Prior to working for Pepper, Tom taught instrumental and choral music as well as audio engineering at the high school level in the Delaware public schools for 32 years. He is a member of the ACDA and is active in the Delaware Music Educators where he served in numerous positions including President, All-State Coordinator, Technology chair, and Composition chair, and NAfME where he served as Eastern Division President and NEB member. He also was a member of the music writing team that developed the new music standards for the NCCAS project.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here