Dedham Choral Society, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2015, continues to be one of the premier community choruses in the Boston area, both in the quality of its performances and the vision of its programming. During the two-decades leadership of Music Director Jonathan Barnhart, DCS has performed much of the standard repertory, including the Requiems of Mozart, Brahms, Fauré and Duruflé, as well as Orff’s Carmina Burana, Vaughan William’s Dona nobis pacem, and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms (performed at the Bernstein family synagogue, Congregation Mishkan Tefila in the presence of members of the composer’s family).
"In truth, the Dedham Choral Society easily holds its own in Boston's crowded choral field."- Josiah Fisk, Boston Herald
Significant local first performances have included works by Michael Haydn (Missa Sancti Francisci) Felix Mendelssohn (Kyrie in d minor), Lee Hoiby (Hymn to the New Age), Gerald Finzi (In terra pax), Bob Chilcott (Canticles of Light), Andrew Carter (Musick’s Jubilee), Jonathan Willcocks (Magnificat), Peteris Vasks (Dona nobis pacem), Alexander Gretchaninov (Liturgia Domestica), David Diamond (This Sacred Ground), and the New England premier of Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man, in a multi-media presentation at NEC’s Jordan Hall.
DCS recognizes the importance of performing works of living composers, including Morten Lauridsen (Lux aeterna), Ola Gjeilo (Phoenix), Paul Winter (Missa Gaia), Rihards Dubra (Ubi caritas), Arvo Pärt (Magnificat), and Urmas Sisask (Sanctus).
In addition to singing in English and Latin, other languages employed include German, French, Italian, Spanish, Welsh, Church Slavonic, Estonian, and Hebrew. Recent notable concerts included a program of works by Giovanni Gabrieli, a concert of Spanish and Latin Christmas music, a Russian Christmas, and a special commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.
DCS remains committed to perpetuating the creation of great choral music, and has established the Robert D. Hartshorne Fund for the commission of new works. A tour chorus of 40 singers has travelled to Europe on three separate occasions, performing in Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Rome, Assisi, Lucca, Riga, Tallinn and St. Petersburg. In addition, the 40-voice Pops Chorus performs a program of Broadway and contemporary popular music every spring at various elder communities and has proudly performed the National Anthem for the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park and the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
With members from over 20 local communities, DCS prides itself on being a “musical family,” not only by making performing great choral works together, but by fostering a supportive network of social relationships (including a marriage!), continually welcoming new singers while valuing those individuals who have been long-term members of our inter-generational ensemble.