NC Master Chorale celebrates 70th anniversary

RALEIGH—The North Carolina Master Chorale celebrates 70 years of exceptional choral music performance during the 2012-2013 season.


Founded in 1942 as the Raleigh Oratorio Society, a precursor of the Society was formed to perform excerpts of J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. The first official performance of the newly formed 34-member Society was another Bach masterwork, his St. Matthew Passion. The organization’s repertoire has long since evolved from works solely by Bach to include masterworks from composers of all genres and eras.


In 2002, the organization’s name was changed to North Carolina Master Chorale to reflect the broader reach of the organization. Today, the Master Chorale features two renowned ensembles: a 170-voice symphonic chorus and a 22-voice professional chamber choir. Master Chorale singers, selected by individual audition, join from across the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina and beyond.


The Master Chorale ensembles collaborate with symphony orchestras, opera and ballet companies, and touring productions.  NCMC Music Director Alfred E. Sturgis, appointed in 1993, also serves as Music Director of the Carolina Ballet and the Tar River Orchestra. The Master Chorale has evolved into a major regional performing arts group that works with over 250 artist-musicians each season and reaches an annual audience of over 10,000 choral arts enthusiasts. For the Master Chorale’s 70th anniversary season, the organization will present five programs, including Bach’s St. John Passion and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis.


For more information about the Master Chorale, please call (919) 856-9700 or visit

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