Some History


The Vail Chorale was founded in 2011 as a non-auditioned, intergenerational, mixed community chorus, welcoming singers from across the Greater Vail area, East side of Tucson, and beyond. Founding director Fred Reinagel, a life-long choral singer and conductor, established the Chorale as an outreach project of the Arizona Senior Academy, enlisting additional support from Calvin Baker, superintendent of the Vail Unified School District, to provide rehearsal space at Cienega High School as well as performance opportunities at Vail High Schools.

Each year, the Chorale prepares for Spring and Fall seasons, offering 2 performances of each season’s concert. Over the years, the Chorale has also been invited to sing at various community events, including the Tucson Festival of Books, the Greater Vail Chamber of Commerce annual Vail Fest, the Vail Preservation Society holiday events, and the Houghton Town Center holiday celebrations.

During Fred Reinagel’s tenure as Chorale director, he was ably supported by assistant director Melissa Hale and accompanist Marilee Leishman. Brianna Petty became the Chorale’s second director following Fred’s departure for North Carolina in 2017. In 2018 Shantell Petty-Funckes took over the position of accompanist. After ten years as assistant director, Melissa Hale took the reins as Chorale director in 2022, joined by Michael Melton as accompanist. In 2023, Hanna Gregg became the Chorale’s newest accompanist.

After many years under the umbrella of nonprofit support from the Arizona Senior Academy, the Chorale joined the Arizona Choral Arts Association in 2020, receiving nonprofit support from that organization.

Spearheaded by the efforts of Chorale president Julie Dawson, in 2023 the Chorale’s leadership team succeeded in establishing a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Vail Performing Arts Society (VPAS), providing nonprofit support to its flagship entity, the Vail Chorale. The VPAS vision is “to inspire, create, and celebrate artistic expression in the Vail community,” and its mission is “to create experiences that move, enrich and inspire by connecting people in the community through outreach and the performing arts.”




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