Friday, December 10, 2010

Bentley High School Concert Choir

Tonight I bring you the first of two partial shares, for two different reasons.  This share, "Christmas with the Bentley Concert Choir 1976-77" is a record I found here in Kansas City in a thrift shop.  At the time I thought I could share it, and then someone from the concert choir would find it online, and it would make their day! and they would tell all of their friends, and the world would be a happier place.  And then I started to research the record and I found that there is a Bentley Concert Choir website offering CDs of this record for sale.  Bittersweet, of course, that the CD is there for those who want it, but I can't share it for the internet community.

Then I listened to the record, and the music is fantastic.  It's hard to believe that this is a high school choir.  It's so, so good, and I believe that the Christmas music lovers of the world will enjoy it.

I tried to contact the choir alumni via the e-mail on the website, but there was no reply.  So I've decided to share out four songs from the record, sharing since it is not commercially available, and limiting the number of songs out of respect for the work of the choir alumni to make the record available.  If I'm asked to remove the share, I'll do that.  But this music is really worth appreciation by a wider audience.  And if you like what you hear, you can go the the Bentley Concert Choir website and order up a CD.

Looks like Bentley High School (Livonia, Michigan) has been closed since 1985, but their legacy of excellent music lives on.  The choir's love and admiration of their director, Dr. Jerry Smith, is apparent on the choir website.  And the musical achievement Dr. Smith was able to draw out of these students is amazing.  Please enjoy a sample of the Bentley High School Concert Choir.

download link

Bentley Concert Choirs site link


  1. I am NOT a choir fan, so I took a real chance on this -- but you're right, this is very pretty stuff.

    Great find, and a good recommendation. Thanks

  2. Thanks. When I bought it I was expecting to think "eh, that's ok", but then was really impressed. It's a testament to the choir director that he was able to get that much out of high school kids...

  3. Thanks so much for the selections. I'm a Bentley Concert Choir Alum and was tickled to hear that someone aside from us BCC folk still enjoy what we loved so much. Blessings!

    Diane now in Iowa

  4. I'm a Bentley Concert Choir alum as well, but from a later vintage (1978-79).

    Dr Jerry Smith is a remarkable teacher and remains active as a choral music director at First Presbyterian Church of Plymouth, Michigan.

    His ability to draw extraordinary music out of ordinary people is unparalleled. I saw him do it with high school students for the two years I sang for him.

    I continue to see him do it with the ordinary folk at First Pres. He is remarkable.


  5. Dr Smith passed away this week - is legacy is far-reaching. You uncovered a gem. I was in the last Bentley Concert Choir, 1984 & 1985.

    1. Dr. Smith obviously influenced many of his music students through the years. It's heartwarming to see former students sharing their comments here. Rest in Peace Dr. Smith.

    2. Lisa (Brown) NortonMay 9, 2024 at 12:03 AM

      I was in 83, 84, 85 with him it was the best ! Shaped me as a person, kept me out of trouble and I developed a love of music I still have today ! Best times.