In the early 1980's, there were several musical events in the Chisago Lakes area which enlivened the spirits of hometown singers and musicians and provided a joyful experience for local audiences. Several of those occasions were provided by Rita Knutson, wife of a Chisago Lakes Lutheran pastor, who assembled local adults and also students to direct them in some fine choral works for mixed voices, organ, and piano. St. Bridget's Catholic Church would stage a variety show as part of their annual church festival. This also included adults and students entertaining local audiences. These experiences inspired a handful of local singers to meet at the Rainbow Cafe in Lindstrom and set plans to launch a community choir.
It didn't take much effort to recruit singers for this new venture. Jim Iverson, who was the Chisago Lakes High School choir director at the time and who was recently added to CLHS wall of fame, agreed to direct the group and rehearsals began in 1985 with about twenty singers. A name for the group was selected and the first formal concert by Unexpected Company was at Christmas of that year in the high school auditorium.
In 1999, the choir moved to Forest Lake where they worked in partnership with the Masquers Theatre Company for a short time. UC then became a part of Forest Lake Community Education in 2001.
After a tragic accident that ultimately took the life of Jim Iverson, Unexpected Company acquired the directorship of Dave Seaburg in 2002. Dave was a teacher in the Forest Lake school district and was heavily involved in music and theatre. In the spring of 2005, the choir moved back to Lindstrom and began a long-standing affiliation with Chisago Lakes Community Education.
After Dave's retirement from directing, UC enjoyed the talents of Lynnette Welsch when she took over with the spring 2012 concert. Unexpected Company director Ken Cheney is now in his eighth year with the group as of 2021.
Over the years, UC has performed Christmas and spring concerts in Lindstrom, Scandia, and Forest Lake. Additionally, they have entertained at shopping centers, dinner gatherings, Relay For Life events, music in the park, Chisago Lakes Home Shows, and the ever-popular dinner cabaret shows. Unexpected Company continues not only to provide entertainment for the Lakes area but also opportunities for singers to join their ranks for the love of music and singing.
As of May 20th, 2018 the choral group Unexpected Company became Unexpected Company Chorale. The occasion was marked with our final concert as a part of Chisago Lakes Community Education in the high school Performing Arts Center. UCC is immensely grateful for the partnership it enjoyed with CLCE but is thrilled to have established itself as a fully independent, non-profit choral organization in the Lakes Area.