The South Bend Chamber Singers, an ensemble-in-residence at Saint Mary's College, is in its 24th season this year. Over the past 20-plus years the Singers have presented major choral-orchestral works such as Handel's Messiah, Bach's Magnificat, B Minor Mass, and St. John Passion, Vivaldi's Gloria, Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, and Orff's Carmina Burana. Yet the ensemble concentrates primarily on works by living composers and regularly commissions new works and unusual and complex arrangements. The Singers have commissioned new choral works from composers Stephen Paulus, Jan Bach, William Hawley, Steven Sametz, Libby Larsen, Gregg Smith, Carey Boyce, Frank Ferko, Dan Locklair, Carol Barnett, Paul Carey, Zae Munn, Robert Harris, J. David Moore, and others, most of which have been published and continue to be performed by choirs throughout the world. Other concerts have featured music from the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, Africa, India, Korea, and even Mongolia. The choir has joined with numerous other chamber and instrumental ensembles including the South Bend Symphony, the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, and Germany's Chamber Orchestra of the Rhine; the Chester, Cavani, and Avalon String Quartets; the Northern Illinois University Steel Band, and South Bend's own Kennedy's Kitchen.
From 1994 to 2001, the Chamber Singers were featured annually on The First Art, heard nationally on over 275 public and commercial radio stations. They have performed on area concert series in LaPorte and Warsaw, Indiana and Niles and Albion, Michigan, and were invited to give the opening concert for the Indiana Choral Directors Association summer conventions in 1993 and 1997. They were also selected to perform for the Central Division Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in 1996 (Cincinnati) and 2002 (Chicago). In 2000, the Singers were one of five finalists for the prestigious Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, given annually by Chorus America, and they won the ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming in 2004. From 1992 to 2009 they were awarded annual grants from the Indiana Arts Commission.
The South Bend Chamber Singers gratefully acknowledge support from Saint Mary’s College