THE WORCESTER CHORUS
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.
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The Dr. Gerald R. Mack Music Award
The Dr. Gerald R. Mack Music Award was established and funded by the Worcester Chorus in 2010. The $1,000 award is restricted to a qualified graduating senior from a Worcester area high school who plans to attend college in the fall with a major in music. The award will be granted in the fall, after the recipient has enrolled in college.
Dr. Mack was the esteemed conductor of the Worcester Chorus for 28 years and Director of Choral Activities at the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford. He gained a national reputation for his expertise in the field of choral music and served as a guest conductor, lecturer and clinician. He conducted choruses at Carnegie Hall and Tully Hall as well as at many of the renowned concert halls of Europe. His festival appearances include the New York Mostly Mozart Festival, the Salzburg and the Dubrovnik International Music Festivals, and he concertized throughout Western Europe and Russia. He was founder and choral director of the Great Waters Music Festival in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, which he led for 15 years until he retired in 2009.
Honoring Dr. Mack with this award not only recognizes his contribution to choral music performance, but it is also a visible and concrete manifestation of his long commitment to education in the arts for future generations.
AUDITION FOR THE CHORUS
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Conductor in Sweatpants
In this episodic podcast, Chris Shepard, conductor of The Worcester Chorus (MA) and Masterwork Chorus (NJ) discusses aspects of and moments from his favorite choral works and yours.