Who We Are
The Masterworks Chorale is an ensemble of auditioned singers who enrich the cultural environment of Metro East with outstanding performances of significant choral literature. The Chorale sponsors the Masterworks Children’s Choruses which share the same musical objectives of a disciplined and professional approach to the understanding and appreciation of music through musicianship, quality literature and performance.
The membership represents a six-county area in Illinois and Missouri and includes a wide variety of professions and musical backgrounds. Many members have music degrees, most have studied voice privately, and several are church organists, choir directors, or music teachers.
The Chorale was joined by the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1982 for a performance of Brubeck’s The Gates of Justice. In 1985, the Chorale made its first European Concert Tour and that fall presented the Midwest premiere of a new critical edition of Mozart’s Requiem. In 1987, the Chorale was invited to join the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under maestro Leonard Slatkin to perform Berlioz’ monumental Requiem. And in 1993, the Chorale combined with the Bach Society of Saint Louis to perform Haydn’s The Creation at Powell Hall. In 1995, the Chorale commissioned and premiered Stephen Manger’s Sinfonia Pastorale.
The Chorale has collaborated with many outstanding soloists: soprano Erie Mills (1987 and 1999); tenor William McDonald (1988); Grammy award-winning narrator William Warfield (1989); mezzo-sopranos Nancy Maultsby (1989) and Angela Horn (2004); Gospel composer-conductor Robert Ray (1994 and 1996); and sopranos Christine Brewer (1983, 1985, 1988, 1993) and Mary Wilson (2004). Recent soloists include baritone Ljubomir Puskaric and soprano Carolina Castells (2010); baritone Thomas Florio (2011); mezzo-soprano Elisabeth Bieber (2013, 2016); soprano Stella Markou (2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017); and Christine Brewer returning for special guest appearances (2016 and 2018).
Since 1986 performances of the Chorale’s Christmas concerts have reached a wide audience throughout the greater St. Louis area through broadcasts on the former KFUO-FM CLASSIC 99 and on St. Louis Public Radio KWMU-FM (90.7).
Masterworks Children’s Choruses are sponsored by the Masterworks Chorale and share the same musical objectives of a disciplined and professional approach to the understanding of music through musicianship, quality literature and performance.
Founded in 1985, the Masterworks Children’s Choruses are based on the premise that all children possess the capacity for artistic expression if provided an opportunity for its nurturing. To achieve its artistic goals the Children’s Choruses are provided with respected artist/teachers who believe in the importance of challenging young people to pursue excellence.
In its short history the Choruses have performed with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Bach Society of Saint Louis, and at the Missouri Botanical Garden for the St. Louis Children’s Art Festival, the Salute to the Masters Art Festival, Art on the Square, and St. Clair County Teachers’ Institute. They have performed on tour in St. Louis, Chicago, Peoria, Kansas City and Indianapolis. Every year the Children’s Choruses perform with orchestra at the Masterworks Christmas concert, present their own full-length spring and fall concerts, and participate in the annual Give My Regards to Broadway concert. They also make selected appearances at local community events.