Ford Chorus celebrating 70th anniversary with shows

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — The Ford Chorus will celebrate its 70th anniversary and the 111th anniversary of the Ford Motor Co. with a performance entitled “A Journey Through Time.”

The performance will take place at Angelica Lutheran Church, 8400 Park Avenue in Allen Park, at 7:30 p.m. May 30.

“It’s an appropriate name because we will be performing popular music from the early 1900s through 2010,” Ford Chorus President Bill Curtiss said.

Curtiss said the playlist will include “It’s Ragtime,” “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” “What’ll I Do,” “America the Beautiful,” “Skyfall,” a medley of Beatles songs and several other pieces.

“There’s a good mix of music for everyone to enjoy,” Curtiss said.

The Chorus is made up of soprano, alto, tenor and bass vocalists who perform 12 to 14 shows a year under the direction of Jonathan Drake.

The year is divided into fall and spring seasons, with the fall season running from September through December and the spring season running from January through June.

Curtiss said that the number of vocalists in the chorus ebbs and flows but is usually around 30 members and that it is made up of Ford employees, family and friends, one of whom is 93-year-old Dominic Caporale, who has been performing with the chorus for 60 years and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

“I’m striving to sing until I’m 100 years old,” Caporale said. “It’s fantastic.”

Caporale also assists by designing and painting the background scenes for the performances.

The May 30 concert is limited to 300 tickets, but Curtiss said that if it sells out a second show will be added at the same venue and time the following day.

The chorus will also perform at 1 p.m. June 7 during the Dearborn Heights Spirit Fest, which is “Military Appreciation Day” at the festival.

“We’ll be singing patriotic music to salute our veterans during this performance and we’re really happy to be doing it because our veterans deserve the recognition,” Curtiss said.

For more information about either show or to make reservations for tickets, call 313-418-3140 or email Curtiss at

(Bob Oliver can be reached at