Alumni Notes


Redefining Choral Music

"Hot dogs! Armour hot dogs! What kinds of kids eat Armour hot dogs?"

Remember that jingle? Douglas Frank '78 certainly does. His legendary solo performance at age 9 foretold a string of on-camera and voice-over successes and a 22-year career in marketing and advertising.

But two years ago, he walked away from it all, pledging instead to pursue a life-long love of ensemble singing and the vocal arts.

He and his newly formed ensemble, The Douglas Frank Chorale, have been recording and touring to the delight of audiences and music critics. The group's first CD, "The A Cappella Singer," (September 2000) competed with respected vocal ensembles to win the distinguished Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award for Best Classical Album in 2001. The group is planning outreach seminars and concerts and a performance of classical and jazz works set to Shakespearian texts at the Merkin Concert Hall in New York this fall.

Frank's parents' tenuous experiences as actors during the Golden Age of radio (his father performed in Orson Welles'infamous 1938 broadcast of "The War of the Worlds") conditioned Frank to be wary of the field. "I learned early on that the performing arts could be anything but glamorous or reliable. There's an ugly dog-eat-dog side to it all."

Nevertheless, he was raised with a passion for music and performance and enjoyed a 10-year career as a child actor and singer. He carried his fervor to Oberlin, founding the Madrigal Singers in 1976. At Oberlin, he says, he found artists with great integrity and sensitive hearts, as well as teachers who were motivated by real passion.

–Matt Vella '03 Tour and concert dates are available at

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