The Greenville Chorale was organized in 1961 as the “Rotary Civic Chorale” by the Rotary Club of Greenville. From that initial group of forty-five voices, the Chorale has grown to include a roster of over 170 of the most talented voices drawn from across the Upstate, providing our region and its audiences with an accomplished symphonic chorus. Today, as an independent not-for-profit organization, the Greenville Chorale pursues its mission to promote and celebrate the art of choral music. It performs concerts of the great choral masterworks at the highest level of excellence; supports the creative and artistic lives of singers at all stages of their musical development; and reaches into the community to bring the power of live performance to as many people as possible.
Seven years after its founding by Rotary, in 1968, the “Greenville Civic Chorale Association” was chartered as an independent organization, and in 1987, the official title was changed to the Greenville Chorale. Auditions are held annually, but many singers have remained with the organization for decades, sharing their love of choral music by committing hundreds of hours of rehearsal and performance time each year.
The Chorale has been led by a succession of outstanding conductors: Founding Director, William Jarvis (1961–1965); Dr. Jerry Langenkamp (1965–1966); Dr. Patrick Partridge (1966–1967); Dr. Milburn Price (1967–1981). Dr. Bingham L. Vick, Jr. has served as Conductor and Artistic Director since 1981.
From its beginning, the Chorale has presented great choral-orchestral literature to the delight of enthusiastic audiences, and it has performed all of the major classical masterworks as well as contemporary compositions and world premieres. Highlights from the last twenty five years include:
• South Carolina premiere performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem (1994)
• Mahler’s monumental Symphony Number 8, the “Symphony of a Thousand,” with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra (1996)
• Modern premiere of the landmark 1895 oratorio Moses by Max Bruch, in a new English translation by Chorale Artistic Director Bing Vick
• Acclaimed Piccolo Spoleto performance of the music of Randall Thompson for standing-room-only audiences (1999)
• 40th Anniversary Season featured a collaboration concert of some 500 performers with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, the Furman Singers, the Furman Chorale, the Furman Symphony Orchestra, Brass and Percussion Ensembles presenting the powerful Berlioz Requiem (2000)
• Commission and world premiere of major work Of Rivers Within by Mark Frode Kilstofte, winner of the Frederick A. Juilliard/Walter Damrosch Rome Prize Fellowship (2005)
• Commission and world premiere of “St. Patrick’s Hymn” by Dan Forrest and “Rejoice in the Lord, Ye Righteous” by Robert Powell, both Greenville-based composers, in honor of the Chorale’s 50th Anniversary Season (2010-2011)
• First Chorale “Pops” concert, featuring the songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein with a guest soloist, the acclaimed Metropolitan Opera mezzo, Elizabeth Bishop (2012)
• Greenville-area premiere of Bloch’s Sacred Service, as part of an performance dedicated to “Jewish Musical Monuments” (2016)
• World premiere of Dan Forrest’s third major work, Lux-The Dawn From On High, which was commissioned for the Chorale (Fall 2017)
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PO Box 16851, Greenville, SC 29606