Our Organization was founded in 1933 as the General Motors Employees' Chorus (GMEC), a fully GM sponsored employee activity with membership limited to GM employees and retirees. In 1978, during an automotive recession, General Motors stopped funding all non-automotive activities, including the Chorus. GMEC became an independent community chorus, welcoming any adult who loves to sing and was willing to make a commitment to share that gift with others. As a further part of the restructuring process our membership also chose to become a community service based Chorus group.
In the summer of 2014 - after 81 years of continuous operation as the General Motors Employees' Chorus our membership chose to change our name to Motor City Chorale (MCC), to better reflect our current membership and concert venues. We still maintained the same quality choral sound and commitment to the community, just with a new name!
Instead of choosing a fixed venue, selling tickets and inviting the community to come to one location to hear our music, we choose to instead travel to local churches, senior communities, Veterans Organizations and other such places to reach those that might not be able to travel to a concert. In this way we serve the community and bring quality vocal music and music education to those who might not otherwise be able to experience it. To accomplish this our members maintain and transport all equipment needed to perform (choral risers, electric keyboard piano, music stands, uniforms etc.).
We also choose not to sell tickets to or charge a fee for our performances. Instead we ask for a free will offering during our concert performances at churches and community venues. When we perform at senior centers, for charitable organizations and/or charity events we will accept a donation if one is offered.
Our willingness to perform without a fee is one of the many ways we as an organization choose to support the communities in which we live and work to bring vocal music to those who might not otherwise be able to enjoy it. We are a 501.c.3 charitable organization and a registered Michigan non-profit corporation and support ourselves via the donations mentioned above, grants, patrons and sponsor donations, and dues paid by our membership.
The Motor City Chorale actively participates in annual charity events, to improve the daily lives of those around us. We provide music scholarships for vocal students at Lincoln High School (Warren, MI), and have collected schools supplies for special need students, clothing and personal products for Salvation Army Macomb and Haven Macomb. We annually sing for our Veterans at the John Dingell VA Hospital in Detroit, and enjoy Christmas caroling at Greenfield Village for Holiday Nights. It is important for our group to give back to the community that supports us!
Our director Eric Miller joined the GMEC in 2008. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from Oakland University and a Master of Arts in Humanities from Central Michigan University. He has served as the Choir Director at Warren's Lincoln High School from 1981 thru 2015 and in various music capacities at several churches in the Detroit area. Eric has also been the Senior Choir director at St. Paul's in Grosse Pointe Farms since 1994. He enjoys composing and arranging as well as playing professionally. Besides playing the piano and the organ Eric is proficient on the trombone, cello and string bass.
Robert Foster began his career as a church organist in his hometown of Wheeling, West Virginia at age 11. After completing two degrees in Organ Performance at the University of Michigan, he became organist of First English Lutheran Church in Grosse Pointe Woods, where, in November, he will celebrate his 35th anniversary with this congregation. He also began his service as piano accompanist for Grosse Pointe North High School in September 2017. Robert is also very active in musical theater, and has served as the musical director for countless productions at First English’s yearly musical, and as pianist for many Grosse Pointe Theatre productions. This is his fourth year as the accompanist for the Motor City Chorale. Robert, his wife Patty and son Danny live with their two basset hounds and four cats in Grosse Pointe Park.