The choir was founded in 1963 by the late Wilton J. (Bill) Slocum, with 16 singers performing music of Johannes Brahms. This led to the acquisition of the first name of the group, The Brahms Singers. Through the years, the choir numbers have increased, the repertoire expanded. The name was changed from Brahms Singers to the Vancouver USA Singers in 1993 to better reflect the choir’s varied presentations. Concerts include classical to pop, sacred and secular, staged productions of Glbert and Sullivan, singing with the Portland Youth Philharmonic, the Oregon Symphony, and most recently, the Vancouver Symphony, doing “Carmina Burana.”
Bill Slocum directed the choir until he retired in 1985. Laurie Pratt of Portland directed the group the following season. Ron Frasier assumed the Director’s position from 1987 to 2000, and returned to the choir after a 4 year hiatus, during which time guest conductors and Fred Hammack took over the leadership. In 2010 Ron Frasier retired from the Director’s position and Jana Hart is the current Director.
Under these outstanding directors, the choir has entertained audiences locally and throughout the Pacific Northwest. They have had several concert tours to Britain, including England, Scotland and Wales. They have also performed to acclaim in Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scandinavia, Germany, The Netherlands, Vancouver, B.C., Victoria, B.C. and Hawaii.
The Vancouver USA Singers have hosted and sponsored many first class choirs from other countries with outstanding concerts by male voice choirs from Wales and Canada, mixed voice choirs from Scotland, Wales and Norway. Venues were filled to capacity for these concerts, with as many as 1,200 in attendance.