Bob Kark was first introduced to the Colorado Children’s Chorale in the mid-1980s when he was courting Susan Rogers Kark, who at the time, was serving as a Trustee of the Chorale. He and Susan, now married for 27 years, still share a strong appreciation for the values the Chorale instills in its young singers.
Bob has an extensive choral music background that began in high school. The music department of St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, had the most to do with Bob’s appreciation of choral music. It was at St. Olaf that he sang under the leadership of celebrated musicians that included Dale Warland, Kenneth Jennings, and Olaf C. Christianson. During his junior year at St. Olaf he sang the leading male role as “Preston Velvethead” in a student-produced musical for the graduating seniors.
In the fall of 1960, after returning to the U.S. from 3 years as a Naval officer in Japan, Bob sang in the Denver Post Opera performance of Music Man. In 1965, he began his career in the travel industry, continuing to sing whenever he could. Following a move with Western to London, Bob returned again to Denver in 1975. He sang as a member of the Augustana Lutheran Church choir followed by singing with the 115 member Mile High Barbershop Chorus that won honors in nationwide competition.
His young sons, hearing him frequently break into song, said to him, “Don’t sing daddy”, but he found a new audience when operating his own personally hosted “UNPACKOnce Italy” small group tours. These Italy tours inspired Bob to lead singing while on the bus. Each morning he would greet his clients with this cheerful song: “It’s a lovely day to day… and there’s anything you want to do ~ I’d be so happy to be doing it with you. But if you’ve got something you’ve gotta get done, and it can only be done by one, there is nothing more to say ~ except it’s a lovely day for saying it’s a lovely day.” Just ask him and he will sing it for you!
Recently, at a Children’s Chorale concert, it was difficult for Bob to hold back the tears when he heard the beautiful voices of the Chorale singing Aaron Copland’s The Little Horses, a song he sang at St. Olaf.
Perhaps now you understand why Bob enjoys being a Trustee. He shares and appreciates the passion for performance music and the dedicated excellence demonstrated by the Chorale singers and staff. After over 46 years in the travel industry, he is retiring so as to devote more time to family, and ~ yes ~ the Chorale.