North Carolina Master Chorale
Founded in 1942 as the Raleigh Oratorio Society, the North Carolina Master Chorale is committed to bringing the very finest in choral music performance to Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill audiences. Under the direction of Dr. Alfred E. Sturgis since 1993, the Chorale boasts a 170-voice symphonic chorus and a 22-voice professional chamber choir.
Hailed by critics as Raleigh’s premier choral ensemble, the Chorale primarily performs choral masterworks with orchestra. The NCMC Chamber Choir had its debut during the 1996-97 season and performs works ranging in style from the Renaissance to contemporary. Singers in both ensembles, many of whom are professional singers, conductors and music educators, are selected by audition from across Wake and neighboring counties.
In recent seasons, the Chorale has performed masterworks such as Britten’s War Requiem, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion , Haydn’s The Creation and Dvorak’s Requiem, in addition to performances of Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky and William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with the North Carolina Symphony, and Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Carolina Ballet .
Members of the Chamber Choir along with Music Director Sturgis present the educational program “Choral Music Through the Ages” in public schools each year. During the current season, the Master Chorale Chamber Choir toured the “Romance in the Air” concert program to central and eastern North Carolina venues.
In December 2006, the Master Chorale’s holiday concert program, “Joy of the Season,” was filmed for broadcast on UNC-TV. Airings of the concert on the network reached approximately 1.5 million people across North Carolina . Compact disc and DVD products have been produced from the concert, joining two previously released Master Chorale holiday recordings.
The organization was awarded the 1991 Raleigh Medal of Arts in recognition of its rich heritage and numerous artistic contributions to the community.