About the West Central Singers

Mission: The mission of the West Central Singers is to provide an opportunity to explore and experience the depth and power of choral music, both for those with a passion to sing, and for those who are enriched simply by listening.  We are dedicated to performing a wide variety of music as a means of fostering a true appreciation for the long-standing tradition of choral music.

History: The West Central Singers originated in January, 2001 when director, Rolf Anderson formed the group. He said that he always wanted to form a community choral group that performed concerts with more of an emphasis on a theme and also involved local talented instrumentalists. Over the next few years the group performed concerts featuring guest artists, performed at the St. Paul Cathedral for an afternoon mass and sang the National Anthem from the pitcher’s mound at the Metrodome prior to a Minnesota Twins baseball game.

In 2004 Rolf Anderson retired and Dr. Chet Sommers, who had sung with the group took over the direction of the West Central Singers. The group continued performing 2 concerts per year with a December concert featuring Christmas selections and another concert in the spring. Chet retired in 2009.
At that time, the board of directors for the group set out on the task of selecting a new director. John Jahr accepted the position and directed from September 2009 through May 2018. Under John’s direction the West Central Singers performed some very challenging music as well as some fun pop music.

West Central Singers is known for doing a wide variety of music, from concerts featuring Broadway music and Show tunes, Folk music, Pop favorites and classic choral music. This group enjoys the flexibility of different types of music as do our audiences. Local instrumentalists are used frequently to enhance the performances.

In 2012, the West Central Singers were selected to perform as part of a mass choir at Carnegie Hall. After submitting an audition and being selected, a group of singers made the trip to New York City and enjoyed the experience of performing in the legendary venue. Everyone that made the trip acknowledges that it was a thrilling experience. And thrilling it was again, as the group performed in Carnegie Hall a second time in February 2014

Past Directors:

John D. Jahr directed the West Central Singers from the fall of 2009 through the spring season of 2018, while also serving as the Director of Worship and Music for Vinje Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Willmar, MN. John received his undergraduate degree in Music from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, where he studied choral conducting with Rene Clausen; he also earned the Master of Sacred Music degree from Luther Seminary, where he studied with Robert Sholz, John Ferguson and Anton Armstrong. John is a certified children’s choir director through Choristers Guild Institute, and serves on the faculty of the Leadership Program for Musicians. John has served congregations in Fargo, ND; Columbia Heights, MN; and Dallas TX.

Chet Sommers holds Bachelor's, Masters, and Doctorate Degrees in Music, is a retired professor in the music programs at Ridgewater College, Willmar, spent many years also as a piano technician, and directed the WCSingers for three years.

Rolf Anderson is this groups founder and a retired Choir Director, Willmar Senior High School.