The Milwaukee Symphony Chorus was founded in 1976, filling the MSO's need for a chorus of consistent quality. The indomitable Margaret Hawkins brought the strength of her personality and great skill to the challenge, laying the foundation on which chorus director Lee Erickson has built. Hawkins' legacy is now honored through the naming of an endowed chair that secures the chorus' future.
The chorus has grown in artistry and stature over three decades to establish itself as one of the finest symphony choruses in the country. International guest conductors concur: Nicholas McGegan, frequent MSO guest conductor, called Milwaukee's chorus "a real gem" and Tom Strini, ThirdCoast Digest, has honored the chorus by calling it "the jewel in Milwaukee's cultural crown."
“The MSO has the good fortune of having a first-class volunteer chorus,” said Edo de Waart, MSO music director. “With a chorus of this caliber, the options for performing great works in the repertoire are immense. It has been a pleasure to work with this fine ensemble.”
Over the years, the 150-member volunteer chorus has developed into a highly disciplined ensemble known for its flexibility and responsiveness. The chorus has appeared with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in concert on public television and in recorded performances broadcast on radio stations throughout the U.S. each season. The chorus has also performed a cappella concerts to sold-out audiences and made guest appearances with other performing arts groups including the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, the Milwaukee Ballet, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and at the Ravinia Festival.
Comprised of teachers, lawyers, students, doctors, musicians, homemakers, and more, each of its members brings not only musical quality, but a sheer love of music to their task. "We have the best seats in the house," one member said, a sentiment echoed throughout the membership. Please visit MSO Chorus Auditions for more information on becoming a part of the MSO Chorus.