May Festival Chorus
This is where voices belong. The May Festival Chorus is the heart of Cincinnati’s May Festival, the longest-running choral festival in North America, and the official chorus of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and Cincinnati Pops.
Want the best seat in the house? Join the May Festival Chorus today and feel what it’s like to belong to a group that’s committed to community and singing, in every season.
Greatness in our spare time.
The Chorus is a group of 130 skilled volunteer singers who devote their spare hours to making music together. The result? The May Festival Chorus is celebrated the world over as a group with remarkable musicality, a wide range of music it performs and a powerful sound that fills Music Hall.
Great from the start.
Founded in 1873, the annual May Festival is the longest-running choral festivals in the Western Hemisphere. In fact, many famous choral and orchestral works received their World or American premieres here in Cincinnati—including Bach’s Magnificat, Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, Benjamin Britten’s Gloriana, Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Death of the Bishop of Brindisi, Robert Nathaniel Dett’s The Ordering of Moses and Richard Strauss’ An Alpine Symphony.
Greatness on record.
The May Festival Chorus has expanded its national and international presence through numerous PBS broadcasts of live concerts and several award-winning recordings, including projects in collaboration with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops.
And the May Festival has made quite a few recordings over the years—from the 2001 release Christmas with the May Festival Chorus, a popular stand-alone holiday album, to the 2012 Cincinnati Pops release Home for the Holidays. In 2016, the Chorus received critical acclaim for a live recording at Carnegie Hall, featuring Music Director Laureate James Conlon and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
Greatness is just what we do.
The May Festival Chorus has received awards in recognition of its continuing artistic excellence, Spirit of Cincinnati USA Erich Kunzel Queen City Advocate Award from Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau (2011) and the Irma Lazarus Award from the Ohio Arts Council’s annual Governor’s Awards for the Arts (1998).
The legacy of excellence continues under the leadership of Principal Conductor Juanjo Mena and Director of Choruses Robert Porco. Now, as ever, the May Festival Chorus is where Cincinnati’s voices can be heard, supported and celebrated far and wide.