Greater South Jersey Chorus History
Established in 1992, Greater South Jersey Chorus (GSJC) is an auditioned, mixed voice ensemble embracing a diverse range of choral genres that has earned widespread respect for its richly varied repertoire, beautiful sound, and thoughtful interpretations. Singers perform in the full chorus and a smaller chamber ensemble, representing a vibrant mix of amateur and professional musicians drawn from throughout the Delaware Valley. Greater South Jersey Chorus is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, singer-managed organization. A board of trustees composed of chorus members and community professionals is its governing body. After more than 25 years, the chorus remains committed to bringing quality musical performances to a broad audience throughout the region in addition to expanding our community service initiatives in the area.
The chorus focuses on performing large masterworks with esteemed orchestra and guest soloists from the region. Recent performances include works by Bach, Orff, Handel, Mozart, Lauridsen, Poulenc, and Gjeilo. Performances also feature a broad range of multicultural, traditional, and contemporary choral pieces. GSJC has premiered several original compositions by former Artistic Director Dean Rishel, noted composers Frank Staneck, Michael Hegeman, Michael Karmon, and, most recently, a commissioned work by Bob Chilcott.
An active organization that performs with pride and distinction, the chorus has had the honor of appearing at Carnegie Hall, the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, and Longwood Gardens. Other collaborations include concerts with Symphony in C and Bay Atlantic Symphony. GSJC is proud of its outreach programs to bring choral music to local schools in underserved areas through its relationship with the Catholic Partnership Schools of the Diocese of Camden. As official Artists in Residence at the Haddonfield Center and School for the Performing Arts (HCSPA) beginning in 2014, we partner with the center, which has become our rehearsal home and a frequent performance venue. Maximilian Esmus, Artistic Director of HCSPA, lends his talent and musical expertise as our accompanist.
historyGSJC has been privileged to be under the baton of several esteemed choral conductors over its long history. Past artistic directors include, most notably, Dean Rishel, who led the chorus for more than 15 years; Dr. Heather Buchanan; and Dr. Jason Bishop. In the spring of 2016, we were delighted to welcome Dr. Christopher Thomas as our newest artistic director. In addition to his role at GSJC, Dr. Thomas is chairperson of the Department of Music at Rowan University. We enjoy a rewarding, creative partnership with Dr. Thomas and are delighted to benefit from his energy, skill, and musical talents at the podium.
Looking back on the richness of the past and ahead to a vibrant future, the board of trustees, artistic director, and singers of Greater South Jersey Chorus excitedly anticipate more performances of great choral literature for audiences who continue to grow in appreciation and support of our music.