The Dallas Symphony Chorus is the official vocal ensemble of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. This all-volunteer organization consists of members who devote their time, effort and considerable talent to regularly scheduled rehearsals and performances with the Dallas Symphony, as well as appearances in the greater Dallas metroplex, across the United States and with orchestras in venues around the world.
The chorus traces its origin to an early 1977 meeting between Dallas Symphony Orchestra Music Director and Conductor Eduardo Mata, Managing Director Lloyd Halderman and University of Texas at Dallas Chancellor Bryce Jordan. Mata asked that a large-scale permanent vocal ensemble be created to make possible regular performances of major choral works with the orchestra.
The DSC’s first performance as the official chorus of the Dallas Symphony took place under Mata’s direction at the Music Hall at Fair Park on September 23, 1977 with a performance of the Mozart Mass in C minor.The chorus has since performed with more than 75 internationally distinguished conductors over the years.
Since then, the chorus has grown through the tenures of chorusmasters William Graham, Stewart Clark, Frank Sargent, Ronald Shirey and David R. Davidson. In December 2010, Joshua Habermann was named the chorus’ sixth permanent director. Mr. Habermann assumed his duties in August 2011. In May of 2015, the Dallas Symphony announced a significant endowment gift establishing the Jean D. Wilson Chorus Director Chair.
All of the musicians in the chorus are volunteers who attend weekly Monday evening rehearsals. The rehearsal and concert schedule spans the orchestra’s Classical season and includes the occasional pops and/or summer concert. Auditions are generally held for those interested in joining the chorus during the months of May and June each year. Since 1988, the DSC’s Christmastime performance schedule with the Orchestra has expanded, due to its popularity with holiday audiences, from two performances to as many as thirteen.
The chorus has performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall ten times, performed in Israel (1996) and South America (2003) and made its fourth European tour in 2018 with performances in Sweden, Finland and Estonia.
The Dallas Symphony Chorus can be heard on more than two dozen commercial recordings, produced by Naxos, Dorian, Delos, Sony, RCA, BMG, ProArte, Hyperion, Intersound, and DSO Live. Recording highlights of the Dallas Symphony Chorus include the critically acclaimed Daphinis et Chlo√ę by Ravel (RCA), Mahler‚Äôs Symphony No. 2, Resurrection (ProArte), Prokofiev‚Äôs Alexander Nevsky (Dorian), and Mahler‚Äôs Symphony #3 (DSO Live). The 2012 recording of Steven Stucky‚Äôs August 4, 1964 garnered a GRAMMY¬ģ nomination for the composer.
To financially supplement tours and activities outside of subscription series and other performances with the Dallas Symphony and Pops Orchestras, the Chorus has also performed occasionally for public and private functions throughout the metroplex and beyond.