Elgin Master Chorale creates Joe Dowdell Memorial Endowment Fund to support ongoing and future artistic operations

  • The Elgin Master Chorale has created an endowment fund honoring Joe Dowdell, left, pictured with cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

    The Elgin Master Chorale has created an endowment fund honoring Joe Dowdell, left, pictured with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Courtesy of Elgin Master Chorale

Submitted by Mark Smith

The Elgin Master Chorale recently announced the creation of the Joe Dowdell Memorial Endowment Fund to financially support the chorale's artistic operations.

The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley administers the fund on behalf of the chorale.

Donors may contribute to the fund through the foundation's website at www.cffrv.org/profile/joe-dowdell-fund or by calling the foundation at (630) 896-7800.

Through a brief "silent" phase of fundraising preceding the public announcement, the new endowment fund accepted more than $36,000 in contributions, plus a generous $25,000 matching grant from the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley.

"Creation of this fund fulfills a long-standing goal to establish an endowment guaranteeing the future of the Elgin Master Chorale," said Amy Cho, Elgin Master Chorale board president. "In naming our endowment fund, we are particularly pleased to honor the memory of a long term and much beloved member of our chorus, Joe Dowdell, who, along with his wife, Jo Anne, sang with us for more than 30 years."

She continued, "We are grateful to the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley for their counsel in helping establish the endowment fund, for their generosity in providing a large matching grant, and for their expert administration and management services which will help secure the fund's success."

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Jo Anne Dowdell, still an active member of the chorale, added, "I'm grateful to the Elgin Master Chorale board and membership, as well as our many supporters in the community, for creating and funding this endowment to honor my late husband, Joe. I can think of no better way to keep his memory alive than by creating a fund in his name that will help provide a strong future for the choir he loved so dearly."

Joe Dowdell, who passed away in 2012, is remembered as a devoted member and supporter of the Elgin Master Chorale (then known as the Elgin Choral Union), a great friend and larger-than-life personality who combined energy, charisma and passion for singing throughout his long tenure in the choir.

"The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley is thrilled to help the Elgin Master Chorale in launching and managing the Joe Dowdell Memorial Endowment," said Jeffrey Hartman, foundation president. "The foundation and EMC were both founded in the late 1940s, so we are especially honored to help facilitate the future funding of an organization whose historical roots are equally as deep as ours in the communities we serve."

About the Elgin Master Chorale

The Elgin Master Chorale is a cultural cornerstone of Elgin and the Fox Valley creating a thrilling, emotional experience for audiences at each performance by achieving an overall level of excellence in singing, presentation and production. Elgin Master Chorale is comprised of approximately 100 adult singers -- admitted by audition only -- who share a passion for choral masterworks and other fine choral repertoire. For more information, visit elginmasterchorale.org.


About the Community Foundation

The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley is a nonprofit, tax-exempt, philanthropic organization that administers individual charitable funds from which grants and scholarships are distributed to benefit the citizens of the greater Aurora area, the Tri-Cities and Kendall County, Illinois.

Founded in 1948, the foundation provides a simple and powerful approach to charitable giving. Individuals, families, businesses, and organizations have the opportunity to custom design their own named funds that reflect their charitable goals and interests. Since its inception, the Community Foundation has grown to more than $93 million in assets and has awarded more than $75 million in grants and scholarships. For more information on the foundation, visit www.communityfoundationfrv.org.


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