In 1935, two years after founding the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and realizing how much choral music would enhance the Orchestra’s concert programming, Dr. Paul Katz founded the original, all-volunteer Dayton Philharmonic Chorus (DPC). The work of Charles Wendelken-Wilson, the Dayton Philharmonic’s second Music Director, brought about the DPC’s reorganization as an even more vital part of the Orchestra. Former directors of the DPC include Clark Haines, Jeffrey Powell, and Hank Dahlman. In 2022, the DPC appointed Dr. Steven Hankle as its new director. The Chorus Manager is Carolyn Sweezy.
2022-2023 Season for DPC
- Winteregg Expression | September 16 & 17, 2022
- Handel Messiah (DPO Chamber Choir) | December 14, 2022
- Boulanger Winter Soldier | March 10 & 11, 2023
- Mozart Missa Brevis in C Major | May 19 & 20, 2023
What kind of music does the DPC sing?
Much of the Chorus’s energy is devoted to the symphonic choral repertoire (works for chorus and orchestra) in partnership with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, ranging from pieces by Mozart to commissions and American premieres.
How often does the chorus perform? Where are the concerts?
In a typical year, the Chorus presents three to four programs with the DPO during their subscription season (September-May) The Chorus is most frequently heard at Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center which was built in 2003 and sits in the heart of downtown Dayton, Ohio. The Chorus, in full or in part (chamber choir), may also appear at holiday and Pops concerts, and at any number of local and regional venues.
What is the time commitment for members of the DPC?
The Chorus rehearses every Tuesday from August-May from 7-9:30 pm at the University of Dayton. During the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra concert weeks, members can expect two rehearsals with the Orchestra, and two performances. (This standard formula is sometimes altered.) Rehearsals are occasionally added at the discretion of the Director of the Chorus.
Does it cost money to join the Dayton Philharmonic Chorus?
Yes, there is a fee of $10 per member, excluding high school and college students. This fee helps individuals unable to afford the cost of singing with the chorus an opportunity to participate. The organization provides members with scores, learning materials, parking passes, and ticket discounts.
I’m not a professional musician. Should I still audition?
Yes! Most members of the Chorus are not professional musicians but instead work in a wide variety of industries such as healthcare, business, education, and more. Some have degrees in music, but many do not. If you love the thrill of choral-orchestral music, if you like to sing—that’s all you need.
How do rehearsals work?
Each week, the Director of the Chorus announces the music that will be covered in the following week’s rehearsal. Learning materials are made available online, and the singers are expected to learn the assigned excerpts in preparation for the following week’s rehearsal. This enables us to rehearse efficiently and prepare a high standard of music-making each season.