The TSO Chorus is directed by Dr. Bruce Chamberlain, Director of Choral Activities at the University of Arizona.
In the 2017-18 season, the TSO Chorus is featured on Handel’s Messiah, holiday favorites at the Magic of Christmas, Bernstein’s “Kaddish” Symphony, and Beethoven’s 9th!
The TSO Chorus Earns Rave Reviews
“Choral music has always been a passion of mine. I am fortunate to have conducted so many of the world’s top choruses in popular operas. Now I’m looking forward to hearing the power of the TSO Chorus, one reason I wanted to do Beethoven’s magnificent Symphony No. 9, ‘Choral,’ in my inaugural season. There may be no better way to showcase their talents than the ‘Ode to Joy.’”
– José Luis Gomez
“The TSO Chorus showed off a maturity in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony] that puts them in the league of big-deal symphony choirs, the kind that come with accolades like ‘superb,’ ‘stupendous,’ and ‘monumental.’”
– Arizona Daily Star
“The addition of the TSO Chorus is always a pleasure. The group has been created, honed and voiced by Director Bruce Chamberlain into a first class vocal ensemble. The unison singing in both the Beethoven and the Bernstein pieces was incredible.”
– Green Valley News & Sun
Verdi’s Requiem “was prepared to exacting standards of perfection”
– Arizona Daily Star
Mozart’s Requiem “was nothing short of spectacular.”
– Arizona Daily Star
Bruce Chamberlain, TSO Chorus Director
Bruce Chamberlain, director of choral activities at The University of Arizona School of Music, brings to this position nearly 30 years of collegiate and professional experience. He has been recognized nationally as one of a group of gifted American conductors who is equally at home in the orchestral and choral repertoire. Dr. Chamberlain has appeared as guest conductor with the symphony orchestras of St. Petersburg (Russia), San Antonio (Texas), Tucson (Arizona), Jackson (Tennessee), the Imperial Symphony Orchestra (Florida), the Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, the Czech Virtuosi Orchestra (Brno), the Budapest Chamber Orchestra, the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, and the Festival Orchestra of Iowa. Additionally, he has prepared choirs for such notable conductors as Robert Shaw, Margaret Hillis, John Alldis, Lawrence Leighton Smith, Joseph Krachmalnich and George Hanson.
Chamberlain is the founding director of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Chorus. In its first season, critics said of the TSOC that its Messiah was “sensational” and the Verdi Requiem was prepared “to exacting standards of perfection.” The TSOC, now in its fifth season, usually performs on four programs during the Tucson Symphony Orchestra season including the Messiah. The Arizona Choir, his 40-voice graduate student choir at The University of Arizona, was recently featured in a DVD release by the Kronos Quartet of Terry Riley’s multimedia work Sun Rings and in March of 2006 performed at the ACDA Convention in Salt Lake City.
Dr. Chamberlain won the National Conducting Competition sponsored by the Association of Professional Vocal Ensembles in 1987 and in 1990 was selected from an international field of conductors as the only American to conduct on the final concert of the prestigious 21st Annual Oregon Bach Festival. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in May, 1995 conducting a world premiere with the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, and has accepted invitations to conduct festival touring groups in England, Europe and China.
Choral conducting students at the UA under Dr. Chamberlain’s tutelage have achieved successes in a number of national arenas, including the ACDA National Choral Conducting Competition, where his doctoral students have been finalists in the last three competitions taking first place honors in 2005, the Oregon Bach Festival, presentations at College Music Society Symposia and serving as Directors of Choral Activities in over a dozen colleges and universities around the country. During his distinguished teaching/conducting career, collegiate choral groups under Dr. Chamberlain’s direction have been featured at national and divisional conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, numerous state music conventions, commissioned and/or performed eight world premiers and have made six European tours to perform with leading international orchestras. Presently there are 25 members of the Graduate Choral Conducting Class at The University of Arizona, representing 13 states, Korea, Canada and Colombia. The School of Music honored Dr. Chamberlain in 2003 with the Maestro Award, presented to the faculty member whose students have achieved critical successes in their field.
An active member of ACDA, Chamberlain has held numerous elected and appointed positions including state presidencies of Iowa and Arizona, and North Central Division Youth and Student Activities R&S Chair. He has been a guest conductor/clinician in over 20 states, Canada, Czech Republic, Russia, Mexico, China and Hungary. Dr. Chamberlain is also an active church musician, presently serving as director of music for Trinity Presbyterian Church, Tucson.
A magna cum laude graduate of the Indiana University School of Music with BME, MM and DMus degrees, Chamberlain studied conducting with Julius Herford, Margaret Hillis and John Nelson, piano with Tong Il Han, Wallace Hornibrook and Nicholas Zumbro, and has continued choral/orchestral conducting studies with Helmut Rilling, Andrew Davis, Dale Warland and Robert Page.
The Tucson Symphony Orchestra Chorus—Bruce Chamberlain, Director—will hold auditions for the 2017-18 Season in September. The date will be posted shortly. Download the audition excerpt here.
Now ready to begin its fifteenth season, the TSO Chorus will be featured on Handel’s Messiah, The Magic of Christmas, Bernstein’s “Kaddish,” and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9
In the 2014-15 season, the TSO Chorus was featured on Messiah, The Magic of Christmas and Francis Poulenc’s Gloria. The Green Valley News and Sun called their performance of Gloria, “the epitome of phrasing, intonation and balance,” and added, “The four months Professor Chamberlain spent preparing the chorus for the difficult intervals and subtleties of Poulenc’s composition rewarded the audience manifold.”
Now is your chance to sing with a full orchestra and with fellow chorus members. Applicants should have basic musicianship and be able to adapt to various repertoire. They should be prepared to sing an art song, aria, folk song or hymn.
The TSO Chorus will begin rehearsals for the 2017-18 Season in the fall. Rehearsals are scheduled for the Symphony Center, 2175 N. Sixth Ave., on Monday evenings throughout the season beginning in September