About Masterworks Chorus of the Palm Beaches
The primary purpose of the Masterworks Chorus of the Palm Beaches is to expose and educate its members and the general public to great choral masterpieces. The performance of these works from all nationalities, styles, and periods will educate, enrich, and enhance the quality of life of its members and the patrons who come to hear this beautiful and time-tested music. A secondary goal is to make our performances affordable to all, so the chorus continually strives to trim costs and keep ticket prices low so more members in the community can come and hear this beautiful “live” music. In addition, it’s important that students are exposed to classical music so one of our goals is to continue working with local schools to incorporate their choral students into our programs to give these children exposure to an adult choral group so that they might continue America’s great choral tradition as they become adults.
Description and Purpose
The Masterworks Chorus was founded by Dr. Jack W. Jones in 1979 as a community chorus. According to the Bylaws, its primary purpose is “to educate its members and the public to the great choral repertoire and to enrich and enhance the lives of its members and of the community at large through the performance of the great choral masterworks.”
The Chorus rehearses on Tuesday evenings, from October through April, from 7-9 p.m. at the United Methodist Church of the Palm Beaches and presents two or three performances of a major work often with orchestra. In addition, the Chorus annually presents Handel’s Messiah during the holiday season.
The Masterworks Chorus of the Palm Beaches was organized in August, 1979 by Dr. Jones and several interested members of the community. It was incorporated as a nonprofit corporation in February, 1980.
The first rehearsal of the Masterworks Chorus was held on Tuesday, October 9, 1979 at the Royal Poinciana Chapel in Palm Beach. Its first concert was Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, which was presented with orchestra on November 27, 1979 at Bethesda-By-The-Sea Episcopal Church in Palm Beach. There were 70 original members of the chorus.
Throughout the years, Masterworks Chorus has performed an extensive repertoire of classical masterpieces including several Requiems, Gloria, The Creation, Ninth Symphony, Lord Nelson Mass, Carmina Burana, Stabat Mater, Mass in C Major, Mass in F, Mass in G, Coronation Anthems, Elijah, and numerous Magnificats.
The Chorus has gone on several tours including trips to England, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Italy, Spain, and New York. Members have performed at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fischer Hall at the Lincoln Center in New York, and at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.
Singers come from all walks of life and backgrounds. New members are encouraged and are invited to join the chorus following a brief audition with the director.
In the spring of 2010, after 31 years, the Masterworks Chorus of the Palm Beaches’ founder and director Dr. Jack W. Jones retired. Dr. Carl P. Ashley was elected and served two years. In the fall of 2012, the Board of Directors named Ken Taylor as the chorus’ third director.
In 2015, members of the Masterworks Chorus sang portions of Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall with the New York City Chamber Orchestra and the Masterworks Festival Chorus. Guest conductor was Patrick Dupre Quigley, founder of South Florida’s Seraphic Fire choir.
The Masterworks Chorus of the Palm Beaches is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. Its members are volunteers and receive no payment for performing. Your tax-deductible contributions are needed so that we can continue to present high quality concerts with LIVE orchestra and professional guest soloists.