Gordon Nelson - In Memoriam

Gordon Nelson 1931-2015

Gordon Nelson, the founder and artistic director of the international award-winning Detroit Concert Choir, was surrounded by his family as he passed into eternal life at age 83 on Friday, May 8, 2015, at his home in Michigan.

Gordon was an extraordinary musician who knew how to challenge singers and bring out their best musically.  He will be greatly missed by his choir, family, and friends whose lives he has enriched and influenced so greatly. His presence lives on in all of us and in the glorious music he has created.  

Mr. Nelson founded the choir in 1987 and served as artistic director for 28 seasons. His passion for excellence and extensive musical knowledge led the Detroit Concert Choir to 18 honors, including the “Choir of the World” title at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, as well as the nationally acclaimed Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence. 

Mr. Nelson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wheaton College, a Master of Education degree from Wayne State University, and a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan. Early in his career, he was a tenor soloist and choir director for several church choirs. From 1961 to 1979, Mr. Nelson served as choral director of Denby High School in Detroit and established a high standard of excellence that included international travel and award wining performances.

Mr. Nelson was an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America, and the Tuesday Musicale of Detroit. He served as president of the Rita Guy Christian Music Foundation for 25 years.

Mr. Nelson's daughter, Christine Rouce, is the executive director of the Detroit Concert Choir. “It has been such an honor to work alongside my father for 28 years, helping him develop his dream, his world class Detroit Concert Choir. I feel so blessed to have had that role.”

For more information and to share a memory of Gordon, please visit detroitconcertchoir.org

To Gordon Nelson we wish peace, love and music - always. Viva la musica!

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