The Worcester Chorus

Upcoming Events

Sun 22

Welcome, Yule! The Worcester Chorus Women’s Ensemble

Sunday, December 22, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Mar 27

Worcester Chorus — Brahms Requiem

Friday, March 27, 2020 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
May 08

Worcester Chorus — On Broadway

Friday, May 8, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

From Classic to Contemporary since 1858

The Worcester Chorus of Music Worcester has the unique distinction of being one of the most outstanding on-going choral groups in the United States. Founded in 1858 to sing at the first annual Worcester Music Festival in the newly-built Mechanics Hall, the 100-member group includes both amateur and professional singers from Worcester County, northern Connecticut and the Boston area. Its repertoire includes not only choral masterpieces, but also contemporary literature, arrangements of American folk songs, classics from musical theater and commissioned works. Each year the Chorus performs with orchestras and soloists in Mechanics Hall as part of Music Worcester’s main season, including an annual performance of Handel’s Messiah. The Worcester Chorus has also made guest appearances throughout the Northeast and overseas.

The Worcester Chorus has appeared with the Hartford Symphony, the American Symphony at Avery Fisher Hall in the Lincoln Center, and the Prague Symphony at Carnegie Hall. The Chorus performed at the 1992 American Choral Directors Association Eastern Division Convention in Boston, and has appeared at the Worcester Music Festival with the Philadelphia Orchestra, The Rochester Philharmonic, and the symphonies of Boston, Baltimore, and Detroit. View other events by the Worcester Chorus.

Artistic Director Dr. Christopher Shepard has been with the Chorus since 2009. Mark Mummert joined the ensemble as Assistant Director in 2019. View our TIMELINE.

Chris Shepard

Artistic Director

Mark Mummert

Assistant Director

Audition for the Chorus

If you would like to know more about becoming a part of this great choral tradition,
please contact us.

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Music Worcester Timeline

1858

WORCESTER MUSIC FESTIVAL
The oldest music festival in the U.S. begins at Mechanics Hall to increase the “knowledge of works by the great masters.” It was organized by self-taught musician Edward Hamilton and his assistant Benjamin F. Baker.

1893

ANTONIN DVORAK
Dvořák conducts his compositions of “Praise Jehovah” and “Husitzka” at Mechanics Hall.

1933

WORCESTER MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM
Built as a World War I memorial, the auditorium would serve as venue for many of the Worcester County Music Association’s concerts.

1960

AARON COPELAND & MARIAN ANDERSON
A tribute to Abraham Lincoln includes Anderson’s narrated excerpts of letters and Copland’s composition: “A Lincoln Portrait.”

1969

ITZHAK PERLMAN
The 24-year-old virtuoso performs Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D Minor at The Worcester Memorial Auditorium.

1972

DUKE ELLINGTON
“Take the ‘A’ Train” is among numbers performed at the 113th Music Festival.

1973

STASIA HOVENESIAN
Hovenesian becomes director of the Worcester County Music Association, a career that would span 38 years.

1983

LEONTYNE PRICE
The renowned Metropolitan Opera soprano performs a commemorative recital for the 125th anniversary of the Festival.

1984

RAY CHARLES
Mechanics Hall rocks with Charles’ unique combination of blues, rhythm & blues and gospel styles.

1990

YO‑YO MA
The grammy-award winner champions upcoming musicians performing with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonic.

1991

DIZZY GILLESPIE
Bebop, Cuban, Brazilian & African rhythms are on diplay with Gillespies’s unique jazz artistry.

1996

MERGER
Music Worcester, Inc. is formed through a merger of the Worcester County Music Association, International Artist Series, and the Massachusetts Jazz Festival.

2012

ADRIEN FINLAY BEGINS AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
With an eye toward the future, Finlay brings new ideas for audience engagement and focuses energy on headliners and educational opportunities.

2013

TICKETS TO OPPORTUNITY
Music Worcester’s groundbreaking program expands its efforts to provide free tickets to youth and deserving families in the public school systems.

HOVENESIAN PRIZE ESTABLISHED
To honor Music Worcester’s long-time executive director, the Music Guild names the top prize of the Young Artist Competitions the Stasia B. Hovenesian Prize.

2014

MARK O'CONNOR
“No matter what he plays, when you’re listening to O’Connor, you know you’re listening to genius.” THE SEATTLE TIMES

2015

JAMIE BARTON
The Met’s acclaimed mezzo-soprano braves a winter storm to perform at Mechanics Hall with pianist Bradley Moore.

2016

PATTI LUPONE
The two-time Tony Award winner brings her show to a cabaret-styled Mechanics Hall.

NEW VOCAL PRIZE FOR YOUNG ARTISTS
Adding on to the instrumental Young Artists Competition prizes, Music Worcester adopts a new vocal prize from the former Opera Worcester.

JOSHUA BELL
“If there ever were such a post, surely Joshua Bell would be the country’s musical poet laureate.”
THE WORCESTER TELEGRAM

2017

WYNTON MARSALIS
The sold-out opener for the 2017-18 season features the virtuoso jazz trumpeter with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

BENJAMIN BRITTEN WAR REQUIEM
Chris Shepard assists John Daly Goodwin in conducting The Worcester Chorus, The Salisbury Singers, Master Singers of Worcester, Sounds of Stow, and Worcester Children’s Chorus for this blockbuster presentation.

2018

ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE PROGRAM
Music Worcester establishes its first-ever season long
artist-in-residency program—forming connections with artists to teach and coach sessions in the Worcester public schools. Simone Dinnerstein named first artist-in-residence.