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 held at the Cannon Center in Downtown Memphis and/or 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.
The Chorus also performs each year with the Symphony in the very popular Holiday Pops concert. in the Pops Concert Series and participates in performances around the Mid-South with the Memphis Symphony. To learn more about the MSO Chorus please visit https://www.memphissymphonychorus.org
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. Scroll down for auditions currently open.
Lawrence Edwards, Professor (B.A. - Seattle Pacific University; M.S. and Ed.D. - University of Illinois), is Director of the University of Memphis Choral Program. He directs the University Singers, University of Memphis Chamber Choir and Sound Fuzion, a contemporary vocal/instrumental ensemble. He is coordinator of the graduate degree in conducting and mentors the graduate students in Choral Conducting. Dr. Edwards teaches undergraduate and graduate Choral Conducting. He advises undergraduate Choral Music Education majors. He is also Artistic Director of the Memphis Symphony Chorus. He has conducted Bach's St. John Passion and Mass in B-Minor with the Memphis Symphony and Handel's Messiah with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Prior to teaching at the University of Memphis, Dr. Edwards was the Director of Choral Activities at West Virginia University, Morgantown. He has been a member of the University of Memphis faculty since 1987.
MEMPHIS SYMPHONY CHORUS TO HOLD AUDITIONS FOR SINGERS
The Memphis Symphony Chorus is seeking vocalists to audition for our 2019-2020 season. This season’s performances with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra will include performing several pieces for orchestra and chorus including some a cappella pieces in the symphony’s new Stained Glass Series. In addition, we will be performing Handel’s Messiah, Holiday Pops music, Carmina Burana, and Children of Adam, composed by Mason Bates.
Auditions will be held on: Sunday, August 11th beginning at 6 pm at the Balmoral Presbyterian Church, located at 6413 Quince Road. You must schedule an audition time by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
All vocal parts (Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass) are welcome to audition. You must be able to read music. Singers will be asked to sing several scales, the National Anthem in different keys, and then a short sight-singing exercise.
Audition details can be found at https://www.memphissymphonychorus.org/audition
Rehearsals are Mondays 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm at Balmoral Presbyterian Church - 6413 Quince Road. All vocalists are volunteers. Performances with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra are at the Cannon Center, GPAC, and area churches.