Jeffrey H. Rickard has been involved in the music scene in the greater Redlands area since 1960 when he began his undergraduate work at the University of Redlands in both organ performance and composition. In 1969 he was awarded first prize in a national organ composition competition sponsored by Ohio State University for the setting of Sonata for Organ in E Minor.
In his 35 year career on the faculty at the University of Redlands, he was Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities, and he also taught courses in music theory, conducting, and music literature. He was responsible for the Feast of Lights - a Christmas pageant of international reputation - from 1970 through 2008. He is the founder and director (1979) of the Community Chorus of Redlands and the Minister of Music to Trinity Episcopal Church (1971). In the spring of 2008 he conducted the community chorus with the Redlands Symphony performing the Brahms Requiem. He served as Commencement Speaker to the graduating class of 2005 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Sacred Music by the University of REdlands. He continue his association with the University as Emeritus Professor of Music.
Mr. Rickard regularly participated as accompanist and arranger to Kevin Blandford, bagpiper, in the presentation of music for organ and bagpipes both here in Redlands and during the Christmas season in New Jersey and New York City. With Kevin he produced two CD's of hymns (Amazing Grace) and Christmas carols (The Pipes of Christmas). Since 1976 he has been Musical Director and Conductor for more than a dozen musical theater presentations in the Redlands Bowl, most recently Brigadoon in the summer of 2007. He continues to present regular choral offerings to the community with Che Community Chorus and Ensemble XXI, a newly formed small group of singers who present Choral Evensong at the University each month through the Office of the Chaplain.
As a published choral composer, Mr. Rickard is currently represented with numerous compositions in the catalogue of Sacred Music Press of Lorenz Industries. He serves as Associate Musical Editor to Praise Publications and is represented with over 100 arrangements or original composition in the recently published hymn collection entitled Songs for the People of God.
The Community Chorus of Redlands was formed in the fall of 1979 to participate with the University of Redlands choral organizations in the presentation of their annual Christmas pageant - the Feast of Lights. By the fall of 1982, they had grown sufficiently in number to develop their own choral season and beside the Feast of Lights, present two separate choral offerings the following spring.
By the fall of 1988, the Community Chorus of Redlands had become independent of the University and moved to their current rehearsal space at Trinity Episcopal Church. Through the next several years they developed their repertoire to include performing major masterworks with the Redlands Symphony Orchestra as well as smaller instrumental ensembles of their own design. Local venues included annual presentations in the lobby of the Redlands Federal bank (now Citibank), the First Presbyterian Church of Redlands and the First Congregational Church of Redlands.
At the beginning of this decade the Community Chorus of Redlands found a new home venue for their presentations at the First Congregational Church of Redlands. Their seasons now begin with auditions and rehearsals right after Labor Day in September and include presentations in October, December, March and the end of May. Auditions are also held at the beginning of January for the Spring half of the season.
Where we are singing next!
With several concerts a year, there are many opportunities to hear the chorus! Check out our Calendar.