Master Chorale Milestones
1979 The Master Chorale was founded by Dr. Robert Summer, Director of Choral Activities at the University of South Florida. The first performance included 19 select singers along with the USF University Singers and Orchestra in a performance of Bach’s St. John Passion at the University.
1986 The Chorale was officially designated the principal chorus of The Florida Orchestra.
1988 The Chorale performed Durufle’s Requiem with legendary conductor Robert Shaw, music director and conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and interim music director of The Florida Orchestra.
1991 The Chorale performed Mahler Symphony No. 8 with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in Atlanta, GA. A CD recording of this performance was released on the Telarc label, and garnered international acclaim and attention. This recording continues to be available for purchase through CD retailers and iTunes.
1992 The London Bach Choir, directed by Sir David Willcocks, joined the Chorale for performances in St. Petersburg, Florida at the Mahaffey Theater.
1996 The Chorale embarked on its first European tour in performances of the Berlioz Requiem with the London Bach Choir at both Westminster Cathedral, London and King’s College Chapel, Cambridge. The featured conductors were Dr. Robert Summer and Sir David Willcocks.
1996 The Chorale’s second CD recording, Christmas with the Master Chorale, was released, and immediately gained critical praise. Additionally, the Chorale was a featured guest at the inaugural opening of the Tampa Bay Ice Palace (St. Petersburg Times Forum).
1999 The Chorale was named Artist in Residence at the University of South Florida College of Fine Arts in recognition of its leadership in and impact upon education and performance in the choral art form in West Central Florida. The Chorale recorded its fourth CD with the world-famous Empire Brass entitled
Christmas with The Master Chorale and Empire Brass. The Chorale received its second NEA grant for its new educational outreach program, Festival of Voices.
2000 The Chorale commissioned world-renowned composer and conductor Eric Whitacre to write a piece for a cappella choir. The result was a work entitled Lux Arumque, which remains one of the most popular compositions of standard choral literature, and has sold hundreds of thousands of copies around the world.
2005 The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay with The Florida Orchestra released the CD, A Musicological Journey Through the Twelve Days of Christmas by Craig Courtney.
2007 The Master Chorale presented the Florida premier performances of Richard Einhorn’s multi-media work Voices of Light with Carl Th. Dryer’s black and white silent film masterpiece, “The Passion of Joan of Arc” scored for choir, orchestra and soloists.
2008 The Chorale presented its Discover! Alice Parker concert series. Through this Discover! Series, the Master Chorale commissioned and performed the world premiere of Ms. Parker’s now-famous The Rock and the River. The Chorale released the CD “Discover! Choral Music by Alice Parker and Libby Larsen”,
and prepared to celebrate its 30th Anniversary.
2010 Dr. James K. Bass appointed as the fourth permanent Music and Artistic Director, hosted René Clausen and premiered a new choral work by Mr. Clausen titled “Jubilate Deo.”
2011 The Master Chorale performs with internationally renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli to a sold out audience at the Tampa Bay Times Forum
2012 The Master Chorale with The Florida Orchestra recorded and released a CD of music by composer Frederick Delius for national distribution by the Naxos of America label which made it to #1 Best Selling Opera/Vocal recording on Amazon and #2 on iTunes. The Master Chorale released a CD recording of The Peace Project featuring a variety of choral music, including a premiere of
an André Thomas commission.
2013 The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay performed Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with The Cleveland Orchestra and The Master Chorale of South Florida at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami.
2014 The Master Chorale recorded the Holiday Pops program with The Florida Orchestra for CD release and recorded and released the live performance of “Upon These Shores” on CD. The Chorale also commissioned and premiered a new work by renowned young composer Jake Runestad entitled “We Can Mend the Sky.”
2015 The Master Chorale launched a new “voice” – The Master Chorale Ensemble Singers.