Save the Date: One Soul, One Community
October 17, 2010
Civic Chorale of Greater Miami
Civic Chorale of Greater Miami
St. Mary's Cathedral
Since its inception in 1970, the Civic Chorale of Greater Miami has grown to approximately 100 singers. We are comprised of both Miami Dade College students and community singers from all walks of life. Our ranks represent numerous professions and range in age from the young to the very young in heart! We all however, share a common love for the singing of great choral music. Our repertoire is as diverse as our membership - we sing it all: from Bach to Rogers and Hammerstein. We are each committed to promoting our organization's mission:
The Chorale's mission is to provide an opportunity for qualified amateur and professional singers to study and perform a variety of choral literature, to bring together people of diverse backgrounds who are unified in their desire to perform great choral music, to attain the highest standards of excellence in performance, and to enhance the cultural life of the community through public performance of choral music, all in an atmosphere that will encourage the development of human sensitivity, friendship, character, self-confidence, and discipline.
Our History: From 1970 to the Present
In the Spring of 1970, a new community-based choir, the University Civic Chorale was formed by Lee Kjelson, with the aid and encouragement of two University of Miami Deans, William F. Lee of the School of Music and Robert Allen of Continuing Studies. In 1982, Dr. Kjelson was invited to administratively head the community-oriented Miami Choral Society. Consequently, the UCC was incorporated into the MCS structure, joining with the esteemed organization's adult singers to create the Miami Civic Chorale. A third name change occurred in 1985 in order to both recognize the Chorale's expanding involvement in community music of the entire South Florida area, and to coincide with the Chorale's return to independent status as the Civic Chorale of Greater Miami.
The Chorale has long been one of South Florida's most professionally active adult choral ensembles, providing community and college-university singers as well as area audiences the opportunity to experience live performances of great choral music. Of great pride is the acknowledgement that throughout its many years of existence, the Chorale has been a choral ensemble of consequence, recognized with enthusiasm for the quality of its repertoire and musical performance.
Basic to the success of the Chorale is the continuity of leadership that has characterized the more than 30 years that the Chorale has existed. In 2001, Dr. Robert Gower became artistic director, after having served as Associate Conductor and Accompanist since 1972. Jo-Michael Schiebe was appointed to Music Director in 1993 and remained until the fall of 1998. For the next two seasons, Greg Knauf led the Chorale. Chorale founder, Lee Kjelson, served as its principal Music Director from 1970-1993. Since 2006, Dr. Gower has served as Artistic Director, along with Associate Conductor, Paul Whiting.
Also of great importance to the Chorale's recognized reputation has been the numerous performances of monumental works and premieres with such esteemed organizations as the American Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Prominent area orchestras with whom the Chorale has collaborated include the Florida Philharmonic, the New World Symphony, and the University of Miami Symphony. Several of these choral-orchestra presentations have been in conjunction with the Concert Association of Florida as well as the Palm Beach Festival, Festival Miami, and New Music America.
The collaboration with major symphony orchestras and organizations has given opportunity for the Chorale to perform under the direction of major conductors, such as Zuben Mehta, James Conlon, Franz Allers, Frederick Fennell, James Judd, Christopher Keene, Eugene Kohn, Alain Lombard, Jose Serebrier, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Pinchus Zuckerman.
Representative literature indicative of the Chorale's past extensive performance repertoire includes such challenging and diverse works as Mahler's Resurrection Symphony, Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, the Fourth Symphony of Ives, Verdi's Aida and Il Trovatore (concert versions), Dona Nobis Pacem by Vaughn Williams, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Mass by Igor Stravinsky, and Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. In recent years the Chorale has featured Requiems composed by Mozart, Faure, Durufle, and Rutter; Vierne's Solomn Mass, Ramirez' Missa Criolla; Brahm's Liebeslieder Waltzes; Randall Thompson's A Testament of Freedom; Jose Maria Vitier's Missa Cubana, and a concert version of Bizet's Carmen.
There are many ways in which the Chorale maintains an active role in promoting community music and performers. Most traditional is the Messiah Sing-In, which will celebrateed its 38th Anniversary this year. Also of great pride is the Chorale's practice of featuring guest artists from South Florida, which have included the Miami Children's Chorus, the Greater Miami Youth Symphony, Florida's Singing Sons Boy Choir, the Miami Brass Consort, the Miami Symphony, Irish fiddler James Kelly, and highly regarded University of Miami faculty and alumni soloists. In recent years, the Civic Chorale has promoted the musical education and enrichment of local high school music students, by inviting their collaboration in concerts with the Civic Chorale.
Our Musical Legacy Continues
In January of 2010, a new page in the history of the Chorale will be written with the merger of the Miami Dade College Kendall Campus Community Choir and the Civic Chorale of Greater Miami. The resulting choir joins forces with the goal of promoting the organization's mission of making beautiful music and reaching audiences throughout the South Florida community.
The Civic Chorale has maintained an active role in the local artistic community, providing singers and area audiences the opportunity to experience performances of great choral music. Similarly, the Kendall Campus Community Choir has been in existence since the late 1960's and has provided singers in southern Miami-Dade county a venue in which to explore and perform music of all styles and genres. The history of both groups is distinguished by performances with major orchestras and under the batons of noteworthy conductors.
The newly formed ensemble begins rehearsals January 11, 2010. Interested community and student singers are encouraged to contact Dr. Kenneth Boss at email@example.com for additional information or Phee Price, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org. The newly designed Civic Chorale will be under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Boos and Dr. Robert Gower.