Vittoria Ensemble was founded in 2011 by Anne Buja, High McIsaac, and Gary Schneider, who formed a committee that evolved into a Board of Directors, with Gary as the first president. The first musical mission statement professed us to be "...a small chamber choir that performs musical works of cultural and historic significance..." and "...is intended to be both challenging and profound for both performer and listener..." From the beginning, we strove to develop an organization that was more than a choir, but was also a close musical and personal community with a very inclusive network of relationships. In the first year, we accomplished becoming incorporated in Colorado (officially Vittoria Ensemble Corporation) and establishing the Ensemble as a non-profit 501(c)(3).
Our inaugural concert was October 30, 2011 at St Dominic's Catholic Church, with 22 singers, conducted by our first Artistic Director, Ellie Seligman. The concert included works by Vittoria, Palestrina, Handel, Bach, Vivaldi, and Heid. The singers from the first concert who are still involved with Vittoria Ensemble include Jan Tilden, Gary Williams, Karen Frazer, Ken Moncrieff, and Even Glaser, all of whom have worked very hard with organizational, as well as musical contributions.
Father Clint Honkomp, then of St Dominic's, was one of our earliest and most enthusiastic supporters (and singers!) which resulted in our long-standing relationship with St Dominic's. It would be hard to overstate the value of this relationship to the choir and its music, and all of us associated with Vittoria Ensemble are very grateful, especially for the help and support we have received from St Dominic's music director, Gerard DiMartini.
We were extremely fortunate to have Ellie Seligman and Julia Dale as our first two Artistic Directors. Each provided more than a full measure of knowledge, talent, experience, inspiration, and just plain hard work for the pittance that the Ensemble was able to pay, and they launched us as an artistic organization. Our present Artistic Director, Rick Wheeler, joined us in July 2015 to continue to build on this foundation.