Seaway Chorale and Orchestra

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Seaway Chorale and Orchestra
Seaway Chorale & Orchestra.jpg
Background Information



Years Active

1976 - Present

Musical Director

Anthony Lai

Mailing Address

Seaway Chorale and Orchestra
P.O. Box 597 Trenton, MI 48183






Seaway Chorale and Orchestra (SCO), is a non-profit organization, founded in 1976 by David M. Ward, music director, with the assistance of the Kiwanis Club of Trenton.

Mr. Ward served as music director and perpetuating influence until his death in 1994.

In 1995, Charles Heard assumed the position of director and carried the organization through six years of successful performances. He retired following the gala 25th anniversary concert in spring of 2001. Local musician Aaron Kaleniecki guided the group until Spring 2007 followed by Mike Begian from 2007 to 2010. In 2010, the baton was passed to Dr. Gerald Custer. Since Fall 2014, the chorale has been under the direction of Anthony Lai, a young man with many musical talents: playing, singing, composing, and directing in several venues around the Detroit and Downriver areas.

Primary objectives have always been to present quality entertainment for the Downriver communities while providing performance opportunity for talented musicians. Vocalists are selected through auditions. Hired instrumentalists are selected and assembled by the director. For a number of years, the group also included a children’s and teen's choir. Several members of those groups now sing in the adult chorale. In 2015 the children's choir, Voices of the Young that sings with Seaway Chorale resumed under the direction of Anthony Lai.


Anthony Lai


Anthony Lai.jpg
Anthony Joseph Lai is an active and eclectic composer, conductor, and music educator. He works not only within the classical milieu, but also in popular music, where he is an accomplished songwriter, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist. He became the director of the Seaway Chorale and Orchestra in 2014.

His musicianship draws upon a extensive list of influences. First—and most notably—is the music of the Beatles, which lit the fire for his pursuit of a music career. His love for orchestral music can be credited to George Martin’s orchestrations, along with the quirky music of old Warner Bros. and Disney cartoons, and the masterful film scores of James Horner (Star Trek II) and Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings trilogy). The work of Debussy, Copland, Holst, and Corigliano were also influential in shaping his compositional style.


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