News Archive

April 1, 2016
NVC Goes International This Summer

American Showcase Graphic Tour

The North Valley Chorale embarks on their first international concert tour, American Showcase, June 30- July 16, 2016. The tour starts in Munich, Germany, then the group travels to Austria for performances in Salzburg (Mozart’s birthplace) and Vienna, where the Chorale has been invited to sing the Mozart Requiem with choirs from around the globe as part of the international “Sing Mit” Choir Festival. The final performances will be in Prague, Czech Republic.

December 11, 2015
NVC Returns to Fox 10 for the Holidays

The North Valley Chorale (NVC) made its third appearance on the Fox 10 Arizona Morning Show on December 11.  This premier group of local singers directed by Eleanor Johnson, received a warm “welcome back” to the Fox 10 Arizona Morning Show by anchor Andrea Robinson and co-anchor Syleste Rodriguez.  With red sequins sparkling, the NVC singers filled the studio and airwaves with the holiday classics “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” followed by “We Need a Little Christmas.” When asked to introduce the group, NVC president Anita Murcko noted that “NVC is the best local choir in the Valley,” and invited listeners to the Chorale’s annual holiday concert, What Sweeter Music, on December 13 at All Saints Lutheran Church in Phoenix. Murcko referred listeners to the NVC website to learn more about their March 13, 2016Mozart-only concert, Mystery and Majesty and the Broadway extravaganza, American Showcase, during Mother’s Day weekend, May 7, 8, 2016. This summer, NVC will embark on their first European Concert Tour. Murcko promised to tell viewers more about the tour during “our next visit to Fox.” Stay tuned.

North Valley Chorale boasts a repertoire that ranges from classical, patriotic, and high choral arts to Broadway and pop music. The Chorale has represented Arizona in the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, DC and performed at the 2013 Memorial Day Chorus Festival accompanied by the United States Air Force Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

Visit  for information about the North Valley Chorale 2016 season and their upcoming European Concert Tour.

May 25, 2015
NVC Makes TV Studio Debut with Fox 10 on Memorial Day


The North Valley Chorale made its debut TV studio appearance on the Fox 10 Arizona Morning Memorial Day show. Anchor/Host Rick D’Amico and co-host Syleste Rodriguez welcomed the local volunteer community choir, now in its eighth season, directed by Eleanor Johnson. Thirty members of the 60-strong group, ages 18-86, shimmered in red, white and blue costumes against the vibrant stars and stripes of the studio stage. NVC president Anita Murcko explained that the selections were excerpted from the group’s annual spring concert, Broadway Salutes America, performed this month at The Memorial Hall at Steele Indian School Park in Phoenix. The Chorale, conducted by Smith Graham, filled the Fox 10 studio with “gorgeous music” featuring Irving Berlin’s God Bless America and George Gershwin’s Strike Up the Band. Fox 10 Arizona Morning producer, Jennifer Doan then provided music for the Chorale’s ears, “Your choir is wonderful and they sounded amazing….we would love to have you back!” Stay tuned.

March 15, 2015
Exquisite NVC Program Honors Late Valley Composer Zduniak

Sing Me to Heavenperformed by the North Valley Chorale on March 15 at the First United Methodist Church on Central was truly a fitting tribute to the late Gregory Peter Zduniak, Emmy award-winning Phoenix musician and composer. Zduniak was a founding member of the North Valley Chorale and its former composer-in-residence. His legacy includes the 55-member North Valley Chorale led by director Eleanor Johnson.

The program featured the world premiere of The Angels Will Guide Me Home, written by talented Phoenix composer, Michael Frassetti, to honor his dear friend. The audience was inspired by Gawthrop’s Sing Me to Heaven, Gregorian chant Ubi Caritas, the ethereal Nella Fantasia, Rutter’s A Gaelic Blessing, Goodall’s The Lord is My Shepherd and Zduniak’s own Pie Jesu. The concert closed with the powerful Requiem by French composer Gabriel Faure.

Sing Me to Heaven soared with gorgeous solos by guest tenor, James Rio, local sopranos Sarah Smith, Angie Schermitzler, Carolyn Nyland and Kelly Johnson, alto Claudia Navarrete, tenor Eric Thomson and bass Smith Graham. The Chorale was accompanied by organist Ron Rhode and a talented local orchestra. Lyra, the dynamic husband-wife musician team, Allen Ames and Maryanne Kremer-Ames, performed three lovely violin/guitar duet selections in memory of their departed friend.

The keepsake program opened with Zduniak’s photograph set upon the lush background of original painting, The Sagacity Bush, by Zduniak’s friend, artist Ellen Palestrant and included heartfelt messages from family and friends. The tribute concluded with a gathering in the courtyard that included the Zduniak family, composer M. Frassetti, the North Valley Chorale director, singers and soloists, musicians and audience members.

Gregory Peter Zduniak lives on through his music, the North Valley Chorale and in our hearts.

May 18, 2014
NVC Mourns Passing of Composer in Residence, Greg Zduniak


Gregory Peter Zduniak, founding member of the North Valley Chorale and composer in residence, passed away on May 18, 2014.  Greg was born in New York where he started studying music at age 6. With his Polish ancestry, it was natural that his first instrument was the accordion. Over the following years he formally studied the piano, violin, cello and guitar. Greg majored in music composition at Northern Arizona University under Dr.Kenneth R. Rumery, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1976.

Greg enjoyed early success in performing, composing and recording, culminating in the establishment of Grandview Recording Studios (Scottsdale, Arizona) in 1985.  At Grandview, he worked with numerous artists to produce musical recordings as well as sound tracks for television. His film score for the TV production Desert Treasures earned an Emmy Award in 1995.

Greg’s classical compositions include many instrumental and choral works. He received the prestigious Masterworks of the New Era Award in 2006 and 2007.  Greg’s Symphony #1 was recorded by the Czech Philharmonic, as were selected movements fromhis Requiem and Christmas Psalm for Choir.

As a founding Board member, North Valley Chorale held its first rehearsals at Grandview Studios. As its Composer in Residence, Greg produced choral arrangements and original compositions for the North Valley Chorale. Greg generously shared his time and talents with the community, including these insights during this recent interview.



Greg is missed by his many NVC family and friends.

June 20, 2013

NVC to DC for National Memorial Day Choral Festival

North Valley Chorale (NVC) represented Arizona at the this year’s National Memorial Day Choral Festival in Washington, DC. Selected as one of eight choirs from across the US by Music Celebrations International, NVC members performed a two day engagement in DC. Led by former Mormon Tabernacle Choir director, Dr. Craig Jessop, the Memorial Day Festival Chorus concert* at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts featured over 250 singers. Accompaniment was provided by the United States Air Force Symphony Orchestra.

National Memorial Day Chorus performing at JFK Center for Performing Arts.

Click here to read more about the trip


June 18, 2013

Senior Community Concert at Pueblo Norte

North Valley Chorale received rave reviews from the residents of Pueblo Norte Senior Living Community for the free outreach mini-concert Broadway Salute on June 18. The program featured highlights from NVC’s recent spring concert, including My Fair Lady, Oliver, and Disney favorites.


The concert included a raffle and the winners are pictured above. Back row left to right: Henry Sherrill, Jean Lewin, Bebe Winterberg, NVC’s music director Eleanor Johnson, and Lorraine Woodruff. Front row left to right: Pat Lichok and NVC’s Kelly Johnson.