Grand River Valley Choir & Orchestra

The Grand River Valley Choir and Orchestra began in December 2008 with a statement from string teacher, Jessica Frehner, to Christianne Jacobsen..."I don't want to experience another Christmas without performing Handel's 'Messiah!'"

Thus began discussions between the two forming a community choir and orchestra. Christianne talked with Barb Cox who was in charge of a community church Christmas choir that year. Barb, Jessica, and Chris met in early summer of 2009 for extended discussion, but realized they needed additional resources.

Jessica invited Buddy and Karla Hannaford to the next meeting. Hesitant, yet interested, in the possibility of a community choir and orchestra, the Hannafords recommended George Brundage as overall musical conductor. He was invited to the next meeting where the six eventually scheduled a 2009 December performance of Handel's Messiah. Buddy agreed to rehearse the Chamber Orchestra. George was onboard to rehearse the choir, conduct the performance, and find a soloist.

As the group had no money, Jessica searched the Internet for Public Domain instrumental parts. Once those were secured, she looked for a rehearsal location.

Christianne was asked to choose a name for the group that would reflect the diversified area from which the performers would travel to participate. Through old history books at the library, she learned this geographical area used to be called the Grand River Valley; hence, the name The Grand River Valley Choir and Orchestra, or GRVCO.

With the name established, Chris began serious recruitment in a five county area through all means and newspaper ads, church bulletins, fliers, an email account, etc. As people began responding, Christianne would perform the follow-up.

The first rehearsal was September 8, 2009 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Trenton. Participants came from Altamont, Cameron, Chillicothe, Coffey Gallatin, Hamilton, Jamesport, Laredo, Milan, and Trenton. Future rehearsals were at Wesley United Methodist and later Hodge Presbyterian Church. The first performance was December 12, 2009 at the First Baptist Church in Trenton. This truly has been a community and area-wide effort.