The majority of the singers have deep roots in the community going back over 40 years to their days in the original Franklin High School Bel Canto Choir from the mid 60’s and early 70’s when, under the late Dr. Koehler’s direction, they earned a reputation for giving 100’s of exceptional choral performances in front of appreciative audiences around the Northwest, and even the British Isles and across Northern Europe. . .an exceptional feat for a young high school choir.
The uniqueness of the Bel Cantos that has remained unchanged over the years, lies in a diversity characterized by the many different cultural, ethnic, and economic backgrounds of its members. As such, the singers set an example for embracing and respecting one another’s individual differences. This respect and the bonds of friendship that once tied them so closely together, endure to this very day.
Today, the Bel Canto Singers number approximately 60 strong and growing. A number of the original singers have even been joined by their grown children. They perform several times each year featuring a unique blend of voices, musical passion and energy for appreciative audiences at Daniels Recital Hall, Seattle, WA where they are the Resident Choral Society, as well as at various other venues. The reason they sing is not only for the love of singing and performing, but to raise funds for a mission of musical outreach to segments of the local community that may not have access to music education, performing and playing opportunities in their schools, homes, or living situations.
The chosen successor to the late Dr. Koehler as both Director of the Bel Canto Singers and Artistic Director of the BCPAS is international concert organist, composer and recording artist, Dr. Mark Andersen. He has held these positions since the beginning of 2012. His imminent qualifications include being a two-time winner of the International Composer’s Competition in Amsterdam, Holland; once in 1976 and again in 1999. In addition to his roles with the Bel Canto Singers and the BCPAS, he is also the Artist in Residence at Daniels Recital Hall.
Now 40 years, later and in recognition of their vocal and performing excellence, The Bel Canto Singers were appointed during 2011 as the Resident Choral Society for Daniels Recital Hall, 811 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA.