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Chorus History

OSC is proud of its long tradition of choral excellence. Founded in 1946 as the Apollo Club by the Dean of the College of Music at the University of Omaha, the Chorus was incorporated as a non-profit organization in August, 1971.

The Omaha Symphonic Chorus sings music of all genres and periods. Classical or contemporary, accompanied or a cappella, towering masterpieces or international folk traditions, all styles are represented in OSC’s diverse repertoire. Performing 3 to 5 concerts in a typical season, the 90 voice ensemble is augmented or reduced to meet the needs of the selected program. Chorus members come from all walks of life and are selected annually by audition.

Throughout the years, OSC has been led by a succession of distinguished directors including the noted composer/arranger John Miller; Bruce Hangen, former artistic director of the Omaha Symphony; Craig Jessup, former conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir; Dr. Cina Crisara, former chorus master of Opera Omaha; and Dr. Greg Zielke, former Professor of Music and Music Program Director at Grace University and current Arts Director and Professor of Music at Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas.  Our most recent Artistic Director and conductor, Dr. Marques L. A. Garrett, was the Assistant Professor of Music in Choral Activities at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and is now the associate Professor of Choral Activities at the University of North Texas College of Music.  We will miss the energy, passion, and excitement he brought to the chorus for the 2022-2023 season.

Noted for its rich sound, the Omaha Symphonic Chorus has been a frequent guest of other area music ensembles including the Omaha Symphony, the United States Air Force Heartland of America Band, and the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra. OSC is especially proud of its many appearances with the Omaha Symphony. The Chorus has sung in the Symphony’s Chamber Music, Pops and Masterworks concerts, thrilling audiences with highly energized performances of the world’s great choral music.

The Omaha Symphonic Chorus is perhaps best known for its signature event, “Christmas at the Cathedral,” a concert that has become an annual tradition in Omaha and beyond. Accompanied by the Omaha Symphony Chamber Orchestra, the Chorus performs both classical selections and arrangements of beloved seasonal carols in the magnificent setting of Saint Cecilia Cathedral.

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