Located at the edge of Case Western Reserve University’s campus, many know that Severance Hall is home to The Cleveland Orchestra. If you have seen the world-renowned orchestra in concert, you know that they are frequently joined by their Chorus, adding language and human voices to the instrumental ones. You may not know, however, that Begun Center Senior Research Associate Jane Timmons-Mitchell and her entire family are among them!
Jane is also Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology and adjunct faculty in the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. She is a two-time alumna of CWRU, having received both her MA and PhD in Psychology, and she has been a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus for 31 years. She is joined by her husband Bob Mitchell, an MSASS alumnus – who she met in the Chorus. Clare Mitchell, their daughter, has both an MA and PhD in Psychology from CWRU (like mother, like daughter) and now works at University Hospitals as a psychologist and is also Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine – and she has just returned to the chorus. Their son Stephen Mitchell, a mechanical engineer, does not share his family’s CWRU alumni status, but he does share his family’s love of singing and membership in the orchestra.
Jane, Bob, Clare, and Stephen comprise the only known entire family signing at the same time with this prestigious group in the 65-year history of The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus.
The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus was founded in 1952 by Robert Shaw at the request of the music director, George Szell. The group is one of the few professionally trained, all-volunteer choruses sponsored by a major American orchestra. Rehearsing weekly throughout the winter season, the Chorus performs choral works with the Orchestra and participates in the Orchestra’s annual holiday concerts. The Chorus’ first big concert this year is in January 2018 – Hayden’s The Seasons – and will be performed here in Cleveland as well as at the prestigious Carnegie Hall. The Chorus will additionally tour in Miami and Europe in 2018.