The mission of the North Carolina Master Chorale is to present exceptional performances of choral music, promote the choral art, and enrich the cultural lives of singers, audiences, artistic communities, and the community at large.
A brief timeline of the North Carolina Master Chorale:
1942: Dr. Harry E. Cooper founded the Raleigh Oratorio Society with “34 selected voices” with the “purpose of presenting with distinction the best known works of the masters.”
1943: First concert performance featured excerpts from Bach’s The Passion According to St. Matthew.
1952: Geraldine Cate is appointed the first woman Music Director for the chorus. She serves in the position until 1959 and returns to the position from 1966-1968.
1971: James Marshall begins 21-year tenure as Music Director.
1982: Organization incorporates under 501(c)(3) federal government status, formally becoming a recognized nonprofit.
1987: The Society makes its Carnegie Hall debut, performing Brahms’ German Requiem.
1991: Organization is awarded the Raleigh Medal of Arts.
1993: Music Director Alfred Sturgis begins his tenure. Within three years’ time, chorus has grown to over 140 members.
1996: The 22-voice chamber choir makes its debut.
1997: Board of Directors hire organization’s first professional administrator, Michelle Hile.
2002: Organization name is changed to North Carolina Master Chorale.
2006: Choirs film the holiday concert “Joy of the Season,” which airs on UNC-TV throughout the state.