Fort Dodge Choral Society was organized in the spring of 1968, by individuals who were interested in providing an opportunity for the study and performance of challenging sacred and secular choral music compositions, to participate in the rich cultural environment of the community,
FDCS frequently collaborates with area ensembles and organizations, including Jive for Five! brass quintet, the music faculty at Drake University, and the Fort Dodge Area Symphony. Other area collaborations include work with the Fort Dodge Comedia Musica Players, the King Ringers handbell choir, and children's choirs from Fort Dodge's public and parochial schools. As part of its mission to promote musical excellence in the Fort Dodge area, the society has commissioned and debuted choral works from a variety of composers.
We are very pleased to announce that Greta Nelson has been chosen to be the Artistic Director for Fort Dodge Choral Society. Greta, the Choral Director for Webster City High School, has performed with Choral Society for several years.
When we needed an Interim Conductor to help us carry on while we searched for a permanent conductor, Greta graciously offered to take that position. And, she has been simply wonderful. She decided to keep Bruce Perry’s original idea for our annual theme, and she has chosen varied music to carry out that theme. Our first concert of the season was a hit with the singers and the audience. She also arranged a fun collaboration for our Christmas concert - with Matt Drees, Choral Director for Fort Dodge Senior High.
We were especially blessed that Greta decided to apply for the permanent position. She is just the perfect person for the job, and we are very grateful that she’s taking us on.
Over the decades, FDCS has established an impressive library of choral music. Although music has been borrowed through the years in order to hold down expenses, money has always been budgeted for purchase of quality music. Numerous area schools and churches have benefitted from using Choral Society’s library, which includes more than 500 works.
Choral Society is always looking to collaborate with rising vocal and instrumental talent to perform as well as compositional talent to commission−we encourage all of those who feel so moved to contact us!
Greta Nelson, our Artistic Director, is the choral director at Webster City High School in Webster City, Iowa. Throughout her time in Webster City, the high school choral program has seen an increase in participation, as well as quality of music making. Nelson also serves as Assistant Conductor and Dean of Students for the Minnesota All-State Lutheran Choir, an affiliate of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.
She earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, where she studied with Dr. Lee Nelson and Dr. Nicki Bakko Toliver. While at Wartburg, Nelson performed with the Wartburg Choir at the 2017 National ACDA Convention, and the ensemble was awarded the American Prize in Choral Performance (college/university division) this same year. She also served as president of the esteemed ensemble in 2018-2019.
The Fort Dodge Choral Society strives for choral excellence and has a strong foundation of community and heart. After having served for months as the Interim Conductor, Greta was appointed as Artistic Director of Fort Dodge Choral Society in December 2023. She is delighted to accept the responsibilities as the FDCS Artistic Director.
Jeanette Hinkeldey, a classically-trained pianist and organist, performs throughout Iowa as an organ recitalist and pianist for musical theater productions and vocal/instrumentalist soloists. When accompanying the Buena Vista University Choir on their European tour, Jeanette performed in Paris at the world-renowned Notre-Dame Cathedral, as well as The American Cathedral (The Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity). Currently, Jeanette accompanies the Storm Lake High School and Middle School Choirs and is the Director of Music at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Aurelia. She also maintains a private piano and organ studio and is involved in the Iowa Music Teachers Association as the Theory Chair and in the Iowa Federation of Music Teachers as the Recording Secretary.
Jeanette received her Master's degree in Music at Drake University and her Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of South Dakota. Throughout her years of study, she worked with Dr. Carl Staplin, Dr. Larry Scully, Dr. Jeannine Jordan, and Dr. Robert Delcamp.
She and her husband, Mark, reside on the Hinkeldey Family Farm south of Alta. They have two grown children, Renae and Marcus, who are also involved in the agricultural business. When not in the music scene, Jeanette enjoys traveling, reading novels, and watching cooking shows, knowing full well she will never have time to make any of the recipes.