The TSO Chorus is directed by Dr. Bruce Chamberlain, Director of Choral Activities at the University of Arizona.
Repertoire for the 2013-2014 Season will include Handel‘s Messiah and Berlioz‘ssThe Damnation of Faust.
The TSO Chorus Earns Rave Reviews
“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
“The TSO choir, under director Bruce Chamberlain, comes through with a performance as finely crafted and delicately balanced as any on the CD.”
“The TSO Chorus’s Messiah was sensational!”
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.
2013-2014 Season TSO Chorus Auditions
Audition date: Saturday, May 18, 2013
• One prepared solo from the art song, operatic, or oratorio aria repertoire
• Two prepared choral excerpts. Download excerpts
• Basic musicianship, including tonal memory, language reading/articulation (German and Latin), and sight reading (melodic and rhythmic)
• An accompanist will be provided
Please arrive at the Tucson Symphony Center 15 minutes prior to your audition time to fill out the Audition Information sheet. Following the audition, you will be notified in writing about the outcome as soon as results are available.
Rehearsals will be held on Monday evenings throughout the concert season beginning in September 2013. During performance weeks, there are rehearsals or performances each night of the week beginning on Monday.
2013-2014 Season Performance Dates and Repertoire
Messiah - December 14 and 15, 2013
The Magic of Christmas - December 21 and 22, 2013
The Damnation of Faust - February 14 and 16, 2014
Audition Location: Tucson Symphony Center, 2175 N. 6th Ave., Tucson, AZ 85705
Lois Manowitz has been a member of the TSO Chorus since she moved to Tucson in 2006. A former member of Princeton Pro Musica in New Jersey, she admits: “I don't think auditions are fun for anyone, but I have to say that the atmosphere that Dr. Chamberlain created made it as comfortable as possible. The audition has several components--prepared material, sightreading and sightsinging and note repetition. If I remember correctly, he even gave me another chance on a particular section to correct a few mistakes. That really helped me relax, too.”
Lois says her experience in the TSO Chorus has been everything she hoped for and more. Rehearsals are “definitely intense but fun,” she says, and “the singers are fabulous and very supportive of each other. I've made very good friends there. With Dr. Chamberlain’s guidance, we always get to the rehearsals with orchestra fully prepared and ready to deliver exceptional performances. I know that we give the Tucson audiences memorable concerts and that is very, very rewarding.”
Lois offered aspiring chorus members a few tips:
• Prepare a piece that you are most comfortable with for your voice and prepare it well.
• Prepare the assigned material up to tempo so you can deliver that as it would be performed. That will give you the extra confidence to relax into the rest of the audition.
• Just go for it! It's worth every minute of nervousness for the joy of performing with this wonderful chorus and orchestra.
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