Cherokee Chorale


Classics • Pops • Spirituals • Broadway
Since 1987

The Cherokee Chorale is a community of singers from all walks of life who strive consistently to improve their skills by performing challenging choral music with outstanding conductors. Anyone with an interest in choral music can audition to become a part of this lively choral singing tradition.

Founded in 1987 to promote excellence in choral performance, the Chorale has performed classic masterworks such as Handel’s Messiah, the requiems of Mozart, Brahms, Faure and Rutter, and numerous others. We also perform concerts of American folk songs and spirituals, patriotic programs and Broadway selections spanning a century of choral writing.


The Joe E. Johnston Foundation awarded the Cherokee Chorale a very generous grant, supporting the Chorale’s programs and operations this concert season. The Joe E. Johnston Foundation was established to support cultural, educational, religious, and social service organizations serving Cherokee County. We are honored by their consideration and support.

Chorale History

The Founding Story

It all started with an abiding love of music, a deep sense of civic pride and responsibility, and a recognition of the value of music and musical expression in people’s lives. As a new resident of Cherokee County (ca. 1987) and Music Committee member of the Cherokee County Cultural Arts Council, Genevieve Miller realized that the singers and musicians of the county needed an outlet for their abilities. She contacted Judith R. MacMillan and Donald Stafford, two talented local musicians who were experienced in conducting and musical education. Applying their effort and skill the Cherokee Community Chorale was born.

Christmas selections from Handel’s “Messiah” were featured at the fledgling Chorale’s first concert on December 5, 1987. Directed by Dr. Stafford and accompanied by members of the Atlanta Symphony, the concert included traditional Christmas carols, pieces by the Cherokee Concert Band directed by Harold Sharp, and a suite by a string quartet from the Atlanta Symphony. This beautiful music was so well received by the community and so meaningful to the singers that it became a tradition for several years.

In the Spring of 1989, the Chorale shifted musical style to “An Evening of American Music” featuring selections by George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, and Scott Joplin. This lighter program directed by Judye MacMillan was performed at the old Canton High School Auditorium and as a dinner concert at the Gordy Center, Reinhardt College.

The Founders

Genevieve Miller
“Gen,” as the Chorale members fondly called her, graduated from Ohio State in 1937 with a degree in Music Education. After her marriage to chemical engineer Robert Miller, the couple moved to Atlanta, where she sang in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus under the direction of Robert Shaw, taught piano, and directed the choir at Trinity Presbyterian Church. A move to Cherokee County in 1980 led to Gen’s involvement in volunteer work with public school music and environmental issues. Then came the Chorale.

Judye MacMillan
Judye MacMillan held music degrees from Carson-Newman College and Georgia State University, did graduate work in conducting at at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and studied in England, Italy, Germany, Austria, and France. From 1974 until her death in 2007 she served at Reinhardt College as Chairperson of the Music Department, Director of Choral Activities, and conductor of groups that have performed in New York, Washington, and Moscow. She was musical director for Camp Crestridge for Girls in North Carolina for 25 years.

Dr. Donald Stafford
Don Stafford earned music degrees at Shorter College and the University of Michigan, and in 1985 he received a PhD in music from Florida State University. Since 1971, when he became choral music director at Cherokee High School, he has served as Director of Music at the First Baptist Church and is currently serving at the First United Methodist Church, both of Canton. He has performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus under the direction of Robert Shaw.

Dr. Donald Stafford

Our Conductor

Scott L. Martin, Principal Conductor & Artistic Director

Scott L. Martin serves as Principal Conductor & Artistic Director.

Mr. Martin is the choral director at Creekview High School (Cherokee County School District) in Canton, Georgia. He holds a Master of Music Education degree from The University of Georgia and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Shorter College, where he was a voice student of John Ramsaur, a conducting student of John Ratledge, and a NATS winner.

As a clinician, Mr. Martin has conducted honor choirs throughout Georgia and is an adjudicator for the Georgia Music Educators Association Choral Performance Evaluation. Choirs under his direction have been selected to perform for the Georgia Music Educators Association conference as well as the American Choral Directors Association conference. Mr. Martin’s choral groups routinely earn Superior ratings at performance evaluation in both performance and sight-reading. His professional memberships include the National Association for Music Education, Georgia Music Educators Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and the American Choral Directors Association, where he serves as the Georgia ACDA Repertoire and Resources Chair for High School Choirs.

Mr. Martin is also a frequent guest soloist and a former member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and the Atlanta-based chamber choir, Coro Vocati. He is a founding member of the Orpheus Men’s Ensemble, a chamber choir comprised of local choral directors and church music directors.

Mr. Martin resides in Cherokee County with his wife, Laura, and three children.

Become a Member of Your Musical Community

Membership in the Cherokee Chorale is open to singers and non- singers alike. Non-singers may serve in various positions, including as members of the Board of Directors.

To become a singing member, you will be asked to participate in our audition process to ensure the ensemble contains the right voices in the proper balance. If you love to sing, can easily learn and read standard music notation, and enjoy the privileges and challenges of singing with professionals and hobbyists alike, we welcome you to come audition for us!

As a member of Cherokee Chorale, you will be able to be involved in all aspects of the development and activity of the Chorale, including voting procedures and running for and holding elected offices on the Board of Directors. Members of the Chorale enjoy the ability to be involved in Chorale operations with the knowledge that they are supporting a premier regional arts organization dedicated to making quality music for the good of all. Membership requires a small contribution of dues once per year, the initial cost of concert attire, and a desire to be involved.

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Community members that enjoy singing and serving their community through the gift of music! We especially encourage Tenors and Basses to audition for ensemble balancing needs.

Contact Artistic Director Scott Martin ( to arrange a suitable time for an audition.

The 10-minute audition will consist of the following:

  • ​Short prepared solo (30 seconds – 1 minute) to be sung a cappella. A verse of a hymn is acceptable.
  • Sight read a verse of another hymn.
  • Complete several vocal exercises to demonstrate range and vocal control.​

The fellowship hall of Canton First United Methodist Church.

Covid-19 Precautions & Expectations

  • We will NOT require masks for rehearsals or performances. Individual singers may still wear masks if desired.
  • We encourage singers to have the COVID vaccination, but do not require it.
  • The Chorale will assume no liability for COVID infections of members.

Attendance Policy
If you miss more than 2 rehearsals for any one concert, you need to contact the director for advice as to whether you are able to continue for that concert.

Dues for the season remain $50, to be paid at the first rehearsal.​

What to Expect at Auditions & Rehearsals

We hold two audition sessions each year, one in August just prior to the first rehearsal for the Christmas concert and one in January just before the first rehearsal for the spring concert.

The Chorale produces three concert works each season, one before Christmas, another in March, and a Pops concert before our summer break.

Fall (Christmas Concert): Rehearsals begin late in August and the performances are early in December.

Spring (Classics Concert): Rehearsals start early in January and the performance is in late March.

Pops Concert: Rehearsals start the week after the spring concert and the performances are at the beginning of June.

All rehearsals, except the dress rehearsal, will be held in the fellowship hall of Canton First United Methodist Church.

Dress rehearsal and performance for the March concert will be at Falany Performing Arts Center (Reinhardt University).

Dress rehearsal and performances for the June Pops concert will be at River Ridge High School.​

Extra rehearsals before performances may be required and notice will be provided well ahead of time. A full season schedule is provided to all members.

Contact Us


P.O. BOX 965, Canton, GA 30169 


Linda Lokey


(770) 314-5507