The Florida Orchestra

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The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay

The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, under the direction of Music and Artistic Director Dr. James K. Bass, is an auditioned, highly select 150-voice volunteer chorus embracing singers from the entire Tampa Bay area. Founded in 1979 by Dr. Robert Summer, The Master Chorale was later incorporated in 1988 as a 501(c)(3). Designated in 1989 as the Principal Chorus of The Florida Orchestra, the Chorale is featured annually on the Masterworks season. In 1999, the Chorale was appointed as Artist in Residence at the College of the Arts School of Music at the University of South Florida.

Since its inception, The Master Chorale has produced at least one major choral-orchestral work each year including J.S. Bach's Passion According to St. Matthew, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, Felix Mendelssohn's Elijah, and Mahler's Symphony No. 8, which was performed and recorded with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under the direction of Robert Shaw. In addition, the Chorale has internationally distributed recordings on the Telarc and Naxos labels and has regularly commissioned some of the most important contemporary composers including Eric Whitacre (Lux Aurumque), Paul Basler (Missa Kenya), and René Clausen (Jubilate Deo), to name a few.

Other appointed conductors include Daniel Moe, Duncan Couch, David Brunner, Jo-Michael Scheibe, Joseph Holt, and Richard Zielinski. The Master Chorale has performed and premiered many major symphonic choral works under the direction of conductors such as Jahja Ling, John Nelson, Julius Rudel, Sir Colin Davis, and Sir David Willcocks.

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