In 1933 -- 1970’ A summer camp on South Bass Island for Episcopal and Anglican choristers. Named Wa-Li-Ro after Ohio Episcopal Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Walter Lincoln Rodgers, Thousands of boys participated in the camp that honed their skills as choisters. Their choir practice took place at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. The boys walked to the church from their dormitory to practice twice each day.
Boys would come from all over the United States to attend the camp. In later years there was a week set aside for girl choirsters as well. In addition to the singing the boys spent time canoeing, fishing, swimming and hiking.
The front porch of the dormitory is now the outdoor seating area for a local ice cream shop (the house is not there any more.) While there the boys were assigned chores including waiting on the tables in the dorm and moving the grass.
We are currently seking additional pictures and information about Wa-Li-Ro to add to this page
Wa-Li-Ro was led by many well known composers, choir directors and musicians. Directors included representatives from the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM), one of these was Gerald Knight who was the director of the RSCM 1952 to 1972. (his records are located at the Colles Reference Library on the close of Salsbury Cathedral)
Paul Allen Beymer was the director of the camp for many years
Leo Sowerby (May 1, 1895–July 7, 1968) made regular trips to the came for many years. Sowerby was an American composer and church musician, was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1946, Each year he wrote an anthem for Wa-Li-Ro. "Themes and Variations (Wa-Li-Ro) H-472 is an organ solo piece still being played (but the music is difficult to locate!) . Sowerby died in Port Clinton Ohio during one of his visits to the Wa-Li-Ro camp.
Reference: Behold, what manner of love: written by Leo Sowerby
Publisher: New York: H.W. Gray Co., Agents for Novello & Co., London, ©1961. (See Church Music Review, no. 2699.) Musical score OCLC Number: 3775818
Notes: For Wa-Li-Ro. I John XXX, v.1-3,
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God by Leo Sowerby
Publisher: New York: H.W. Gray Co., Agents for Novello & Co., London, ©1966. see Church Music Review, no. 2928. OCLC Number: 3775725
Notes: For Camp Wa-Li-Ro. From Deuteronomy 6:5-9 and Numbers 15:40 (alt.).
Theme and variations : ("Wa-li-ro") : organ solo, H. 472
Author: Leo Sowerby; Ronald C Rice
Publisher: Minneapolis, Minn. : Randall M. Egan, ©1995.
Series: Egan edition; Leo Sowerby Foundation editions., Egan organ ;, #ES-1002.