History

 

Musical Direction

Founded in 1978 by William O. Baker at the age of 19, the Guild has grown in size, talent and enthusiasm with a remarkable stability of musical direction thanks to the dedication of its conductors. Our present conductor, Mary Root, knows our Guild well, as she served as our third Musical Director from 1992-2000. Past conductors are: William O. Baker (1978-1992), Mary Root (1992-2000), Bryan Black (2000-2010), Edgar Scruggs (2010-2012) and Don Milton (2013-2014). The expertise of musical direction has strengthened the Guild's presence as a community arts organization, demonstrated by the many seasons of innovative and delightful programming given through the years. 

 

Community Participation

The DeKalb Choral Guild has participated in numerous community festivals and events such as the DeKalb International Choral Festival and the Emory Festival of Choirs. For several years, the Guild has sponsored a biennial festival of faith and the Guild's Chamber Singers have sung at the Egleston Festival of Trees and Christmas at Callanwolde in period renaissance costume. The Guild also sponsored a "Music in the Schools" festival, inviting high school choirs for joint performances and was named by Oglethorpe University as "Artists in Residence." Grants from the DeKalb Council for the Arts and the Georgia Council for the Arts have been awarded to the Guild for several years based on its commitment to musical excellence and community involvement. In 2009, the DeKalb Choral Guild was proud to present the inaugural Georgia Young Composers Festival, which continues today, promoting and encouraging composing among young people in the state. 

 

Touring

The Guild has an extensive travel history.The Guild's first tour in 1983 included performances historic churches in Switzerland, Austria and West Germany. The Guild presented concerts in the Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Savannah and Christ Church in Washington, DC, in 1987. Crossing "the pond" again in 1988, the Guild participated in the Bristol International Music Festival during a tour of England and Wales. The Guild has had further tours in the Southeast, including trips to Alabama and Florida and two performances at the Piccolo Spoleto festival in Charleston, South Carolina.  In September of 2005, the Guild returned to Europe with a tour of Germany and the Czech Republic, that included stops in Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden, Weimar, Rothenburg and Prague. Season 30 ended with a tour as the representative chorus of the state of Georgia for the American Festival of Music in Italy, featuring performances in the Vatican in Rome, as well as concerts in Assisi, Florence and Venice.

 

Debuts, Commissions and Musical Honors

The DeKalb Choral Guild has long supported contemporary composers. Three new works commissioned by the Guild from composers Donald McCullough, Dr. Sharon J. Willis, and Jiri Laburda were revisited in the Guild's 35th Anniversary Concert in April 2012. The Guild performed the modern premiere of a newly "rediscovered" work, Matins for the Virgin of Guadalupe, by Mexican composer Francisco Delgado, and the Atlanta premiere of Donald McCullough's Holocaust Cantata on the Day of Holocaust Remembrance, which was broadcast on Georgia Public Radio. The Guild's first professional recording project was completed in 2010, in our CD "If Music Be The Food Of Love."

 
© 2017 DeKalb Choral Guild
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