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"I was much taken by
the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus
under their British-born director
Philip Barnes...Barnes has led the choir
since 1989―and it shows"
"It's a bit surprising to find a choir with an international reputation in a town that doesn't have a music conservatory or a means for singers to make a living with their art. SLCC artistic director Philip Barnes does it by having high standards, dedicated singers, and an artistic imagination that knows no bounds. He builds programs to match venues, and produces recordings that consistently get high marks from British and American critics alike. Others imitate; Barnes innovates." ―Sarah Bryan Miller
The Saint Louis Chamber Chorus would like to say thanks! We're proud to announce the the Chorus received the largest number of nominations from the readership, as well as the recognition by the paper's chief classical music critic, Sarah Bryan Miller, as St. Louis's best choral ensemble.
Our 59th season has been announced! Join us for Choral Titans, an exciting lineup of six concerts that pairs two contrasting composers and choral giants at each concert. Season and individual tickets are on sale now!
Our American Declarations CD is here! Great choral masterworks with a decidedly American flavor, several appearing on CD for the first time. Stephen Paulus’s ecstatic Stabat Mater is matched in intensity by the Symphony for Voices by Roy Harris. Rare choral music by Miklós Rózsa, William Schuman, and Sven Lekberg complement original works by African American composers, William Levi Dawson and Ulysses S. Kay.
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The Saint Louis Chamber Chorus is a not-for-profit organization committed to presenting the finest a cappella choral works, seeking to entertain, educate, and inspire audiences through its unique programs in St. Louis’s finest public buildings. Now enjoying its second half-century, the forty-voice ensemble performs six concerts annually and may be heard on several compact discs. Under the direction of English conductor Philip Barnes, the Chamber Chorus combines outstanding acoustics with originality and excellence of its presentations, and has established an enviable reputation as the Midwest’s premier a cappella ensemble.
Major American cities can routinely offer several choirs of excellence, but what distinguishes St. Louis is a chamber choir with an enviable history of championing both neglected and newly written repertoire in countless outstanding performances. The stability afforded the choir by having only four artistic directors over 55 years has supported its musical growth, which in recent years has led to a commitment to unaccompanied repertoire. Each season the singers present six programs that include both canonical works of choral music, as well as the less familiar and several world premières. That both the founder, Ronald Arnatt, and current artistic director, Philip Barnes, were raised in the English cathedral tradition accounts for the preponderance of British music in the choir’s repertoire. However, much care and attention is lavished on other traditions, notably polychoral works from the Renaissance, the German Romantics, and American classics. Since Barnes’s appointment in 1989, there has been a gradual shift toward the commissioning of new music, and this has yielded important works from some of the most significant contemporary writers of choral music.
The Chamber Chorus is affiliated with the American Choral Directors Association. The Chorus is not associated with any religious or educational institution, and welcomes performers and listeners from any background, discriminating against no one. Although much of the Chorus’ repertoire is sacred and sung in sacred buildings, the repertoire and venues are selected purely on artistic grounds.
Financial support for the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus is made possible by grants from the Arts and Education Council, the Missouri Arts Council, and the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis.
The Saint Louis Chamber Chorus
PO Box 11558, Clayton, MO 63105
© 1955-2014 The Saint Louis Chamber Chorus