Nancy Pole Wilhite, alto, describes herself as being an amateur (lover in strict translation of the French) of Early Music. During her formative/informative years as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley in the early 1970’s, she had the habit (prior to iPods) of studying in the music library. She would turn to the music librarian, friend Ellen, and ask to be loaded up with an eclectic selection from the music library. Aware of her admiration for Elizabeth R, Ellen produced the King’s College version of Thomas Tallis’ “Spiem in Alium.” The singing literally transported her. She thought, could there be contemporary choirs singing such ethereal music? Her favorite professor, Bill Nestrick, a Herbert scholar, also encouraged his English literature students to explore the music and the art of the period. Such an interdisplinary approach lead to attending various concerts. One of the most memorable was the Consort of Early Music under the direction of the late David Munrow.

In the ensuing years, Nancy lived in Paris briefly where she continued to enjoy Early Music. When she returned to the US, she met and married a guy who is both a lutenist and luthier. In 1982, they moved to Portland. As a favor to a San Diego friend who played the viol da gamba, they brought her instrument with them to Portland to be repaired by its maker, Jess Wells. Jess then told them about a church choir that specialized in Byrd, Gibbons and Palestrina. Since 1982, Nancy has been a member of the choir singing in the alto section.  In 1983, the choir became known as Cantores in Ecclesia.

Nancy has also lent her professional talents to the group as a travel agent and tour manager. Since 1987, she has traveled with the choir to Rome, France, England, Mexico, Chicago and most recently on pilgrimage to Spain and Portugal. In the shadow of 9/11, the choir journeyed to France ( 

Being a member of Cantores under the direction of Dean Applegate has provided Nancy not only an opportunity to sing the most amazing sacred music in its natural setting, but to develop lasting friendships with incredible and talented people.
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