About the Chorus
The Memphis Symphony Chorus is an integral part of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra family and a fan favorite. The Memphis Symphony Chorus is lead by Artistic Director, Dr. Lawrence Edwards and performs between 2 and 5 concerts per season with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. Since its formation in 1965, the Memphis Symphony Chorus has attracted excellent, volunteer vocalists from around the Mid South. Performances are usually held at the Cannon Center in downtown Memphis, or at the Germantown Performing Arts Center.
The Chorus began in 1965 when Maestro Vincent De Frank needed a chorus to present the Symphony’s first Pops Concert. He asked musician Sara Beth Causey to send out notice and 30 singers responded that first year. Today the Chorus is 120 members strong, performing under the direction of Maestro Robert Moody and Dr. Lawrence Edwards. This group of dedicated volunteer vocalists celebrated its 50th anniversary during the 2015-16 season.
In a perfect collaboration of orchestral and vocal musicians, the chorus has performed major works across the entire spectrum of classical choral music, opera choruses, and concert pops repertoire. Our recent Masterworks Concert performances have included:
Bach’s Mass in B Minor
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony
Orff’s Carmina Burana
Requiems by Mozart, Verdi, Brahms, and Berlioz
The Chorus also performs each year with the Symphony in the very popular Holiday Pops concert. We also perform occasionally in the Pops Concert Series or participate in performances around the Mid South with the Symphony.
Chorus membership grows through a twice-yearly audition process supervised by Dr. Edwards. Being a professional vocalist is not a prerequisite for acceptance; however, one must have in equal proportion vocal skill, ability to read music, a love for great choral music, as well as the time and energy to devote to a weekly Monday rehearsal schedule during the season. Each new season for the Chorus begins in the late summer and lasts through their final performance, usually in May.
Be sure to check out the rest of the website for information about the chorus audition schedule or to purchase tickets for performances, or you may contact the Memphis Symphony Orchestra office at (901) 537-2510.