The Oratorio Society of Saranac Lake was founded in 1947 and continued through 1957, when it became inactive.  It was reactivated briefly in 1965 for a performance of Handel's Messiah, but faded away the next year after a June 1966 spring concert.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, June 15, 1953


A joint meeting of the present and retiring Board of Directors of the Oratorio Society of Saranac Lake was held at the Lake Kushaqua home of the new president, Mrs. Wayne Henning.

It was decided that a music festival be held in the Spring of 1954 of a more ambitious scope than any concert the Society has given in its six years existence.

The policy of presenting music of the madrigal type, as well as the standard cantatas and oratorios will be continued.

The Oratorio Society is the only such group within many miles of Saranac Lake and therefore draws, its members not only from the Village but from Lake Placid, Tupper Lake, Lake Kushaqua and other areas within an hour's driving distance. In order to further its ambitious plans, a large membership is desired and a membership committee, under the direction of Bruce Elmore, has been formed. The committee will operate in two sections, a senior one to contact men and women of all ages, and a junior group to interest the teen-agers.

Mrs. Henning appointed Miss Leonie Dieschbourg as chairman of the publicity committee. Louis R. Kain, conductor of the Society, Mr. Elmore; Dr. Carl Merkel, vice president; Mrs. Thomas Kelly, secretary; Joseph Henning, treasurer, and Mrs. Henning will be available during the summer for information concerning the Society, either as a singing or sustaining member.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, May 17, 1955

Oratorio Concert On Thursday Eve

The Oratorio Society will present its 8th annual spring concert in the Hotel Saranac ballroom Thursday at 8:15 p.m.

The group, under the direction of Louis R. Kains, the founder of the society, will sing "The Lord Nelson Mass" by Haydn, "The Chorale Fantasi" by Beethoven and excerpts from Cantatas 68 and 80 by Bach.

Soloists taking part in the program are all area people, as are the members of the chorus. The society has received high commendation for the excellence of its programs.

The soloists will be: Mrs. Margaret Larkin of Tupper Lake, Mrs. Hortense Henning and Miss Abigail Henning from Stony Wold, and the Misses Janet Merkel, Ann Mitchell and Joan Kains, all of Saranac Lake.

Wilfred MacNeil, Bruce Elmore, James Quigley, David Merkel and Thomas McDonald of Saranac Lake will be the male singing stars of the program.

Mrs. Joyce Harkelrode and Mrs. Joyce Garwood are the piano accompanists. It is hoped that many members of the audience will join the Oratorio Society following the concert.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, June 9, 1966

Songs From Four Centuries On Oratorio Society Program

The Saranac Lake Oratorio Society will present its spring concert this Sunday evening at 8 o'clock at the Harrietstown Town Hall. The Oratorio Society, which was reactivated this past fall after a number of years of inactivity, gave an excellent performance of Handel's Messiah during the Christmas season, and this will be the group's concert.

The society is expanding its repertoire and doing some classical and popular choral arrangements as well as oratorios and cantatas. The choir is doing one short sacred cantata in its spring concert, Felix Mendelssohn's “Hear My Prayer” which features a soprano solo which will be sung by Donna Allen who is a music teacher in the public schools. The balance of the program will be choral members ranging from a 16th century chorus called "Echo Song," by di Lasso to a modern day popular tune by Irving Berlin "Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor" and a modern classical anthem "Alleluia" by Randall Thompson.

An added attraction for the evening program will be duet singing with guitar of Jean Utterback and Gloria Ayvazian as they do a small group of international ballads. Mrs. Ayvazian also will be soloist for "Beautiful Savior," a Silesian Folk song.

The choir is under the direction of Newton S. Fink, who is program director of an Adult Study Center called Lands End on Upper Saranac Lake. Mr. Fink who did his graduate work in music at Westminster Choir College, Princeton. N. J., has been director of a number of choruses and church choirs in Syracuse and Binghamton. He also is presently director of the Presbyterian Church Choir.

Accompanist for the Oratorio Society is Joyce Garwood who played for the society when they performed the Messiah. Mrs. Garwood is also the organist and assistant director for the Presbyterian Church Choir.

The public is cordially invited to attend the concert. Tickets, at 75 cents for adults and 25 cents for students, may be purchased at Harvey's Book Store, from any choir member or at the door the night of the concert.