Associate Director Mary Somerville first joined the Kulshan Chorus as a member in the spring of 1994. She had been a speaker at Bellingham’s second annual Martin Luther King Day celebration, heard the Kulshan Chorus and drawn to the power and message of our music, immediately proceeded to join the chorus.
With a history steeped in music, Mary proved to be a tremendous asset to Kulshan Chorus, not only as a singer and soloist, but also by serving in a myriad of positions over the years. In 1997, she was our rehearsal assistant. In 1998, shortly after the chorus became a non-profit, she joined the board and served as Secretary of the Board of Directors until 2013. She has served both as a backup accompanist and substitute director. In the winter of 2003, she was urgently asked to step in as Director for Kulshan Chorus’ “Bridge Over Troubled Water” concert. According to Mary, that concert - which featured Grammy Award winning musician and songwriter, Larry Knechtel, on piano - was “an experience of a life-time”.
In the spring of 2013, following the retirement of our founding director, Mary Somerville was asked by the Board of Directors to serve as the chorus’ Interim Director until a national search for a new director could be completed. Mary led the chorus through 2013, culminating with “A Joyful Noise” concert in December of that year. Dustin Willetts attended this concert and was impressed with Mary’s capable handling of the chorus as well as her slick dance moves. Once hired as Artistic Director, Dustin made clear his appreciation of Mary by naming her as our Associate Director, a position she has held since 2014.