Hailed as “one of the country’s premier collegiate ensembles” by the late Robert Schuneman, past president of music publishing house E.C. Schirmer, the Stanford Chamber Chorale is the Stanford Department of Music’s most select choir. Directed by Dr. Stephen M. Sano, the group is dedicated to the performance of literature best suited to the small choral ensemble. Their successes at home and abroad underscore Stanford’s commitment to music performance and the arts.
Members of the ensemble are drawn from both graduate and undergraduate populations at Stanford University and hail from across the United States and around the world. The singers represent a broad diversity of academic disciplines and degree programs, and – while maintaining their rigorous academics – meet a demanding schedule of performing, touring, and recording. The Chorale’s two most recent CDs appeared on the first-round ballot for the Grammy Awards in several categories, including “Best Choral Performance.”
At home, the Chamber Chorale regularly concertizes in the stunning Stanford Memorial Church and the magnificent Bing Concert Hall. Highly regarded on campus for their artistry and professionalism, the Chorale is often tapped to work with visiting performers on campus and has enjoyed successful collaborations with a number of artists including the Kronos Quartet, master flamenco guitarist Paco Peña, pianist Jeremy Denk, and England’s Tallis Scholars. The Chorale has had the honor of receiving works and arrangements from distinguished composers such as Kirke Mechem, Paul Crabtree, Jiří Laburda, Takeo Kudo, and Howard Helvey, as well as premiering works by Stanford-related composers Christopher Tin, Jonathan Berger, Eric Tuan, and Giancarlo Aquilanti.
Beyond campus, the Chorale regularly undertakes international tours to Asia and Europe as well as domestic travel to major U.S. cities. Their travels have provided opportunities to showcase their repertoire in distinctive settings that have included the great British cathedrals of Ely, Exeter, Lincoln, Newport, Norwich, Salisbury, Wells, York, and Llandaff, the Berlin Philharmonie, the Hiroshima Prefectural Art Museum, collegiate chapels in Oxford (New College, Magdalen College, Jesus College) and Cambridge (King’s College, St John’s College, Trinity College), the Great Hall of the People (Beijing), and the National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.). While abroad the Chorale has been privileged to collaborate with a number of ensembles, among them the Choirs of St John’s College and Trinity College, Cambridge and the Chamber Choir of the Berlin University of the Arts.