SD Master Chorale is thrilled to announce its 60th Anniversary Season, and we are looking forward to inspiring audiences through live choral music. Here’s what you can expect as we celebrate delighting audiences for over 60 years. 


John K. Russell, conductor
Bryan Verhoye, piano

Sunday, October 24, 2021 4pm
Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church

Join us in celebrating the triumphant return of Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church’s concert series with a thrilling selection of beloved choruses from operas, sacred works, and films, including pieces by Bach, Bizet, Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Jocelyn Hagen, Zanaida Robles, John Williams, and more!

John K. Russell, conductor

Saturday, November 20, 2021 7pm
St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, San Diego

Sunday, November 21, 2021 2:30pm
St. Elizabeth Seton, Catholic Church, Carlsbad

SD Master Chorale returns to venues with exceptional indoor acoustics, for performances centered on Frank Martin’s Mass for Double Choir. This mysterious masterwork, which wasn’t performed publicly until 40 years after its completion, is beloved for organically blending modern harmonic shadings with ancient texts and melodies. This program will also feature music written for resonant, spacious cathedral acoustics, including Josquin’s elegant setting of “Ave Maria… Virgo serena”, selections from Rachmaninoff’s Vespers, and more.

John K. Russell, conductor
Martin Green, organ

Sunday, December 5, 2021 5pm
St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, San Diego

This season, our annual Messiah Sing returns to St. Paul’s Cathedral as an in-person event. Join SD Master Chorale members as we sing through Handel’s masterpiece accompanied by organist Martin Green, Canon for Music at St. Paul’s and SD Master Chorale Associate Music Director.

John K. Russell, conductor

March 3, 2022, 7pm
The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center 

This program features the world premiere of a work commissioned by SD Master Chorale for our 60th season from renowned composer Marcos Balter. Balter’s Book of Colors draws inspiration from Jude Stewart’s book ROY G. BIV, and explores color in both literal and figurative ways. This program also features works that display the diversity of choral color, including music by Abbie Betinis, Bobby McFerrin, Derrick Fox, and David Neerman.

John K. Russell, conductor

April 16, 2022, 4pm
First United Methodist Church, San Diego

Our annual showcase for local high school singers returns as full-day event! The Honor Choir includes workshops for singers and teachers and the opportunity to rehearse and perform alongside members of the SD Master Chorale. The culminating performance is a season highlight that unites generations of voices in music of hope and joy.

John K. Russell, conductor

May 21, 2022, 7pm
College Avenue Baptist Church

In 2016, the SD Master Chorale performed the San Diego premiere of Shawn Kirchner’s Songs of Ascent. To close our 60th season, we return to this beautiful setting of the series of Psalms (120 to 134) traditionally known as Shir Hama’aloth (translated as “Song of Ascents” but also known as the “Songs of Degrees or “Steps” or even “Pilgrim Songs”). The composer has revised this setting for chorus, soloists, strings, and harp in recent years to elaborate on an already meaningful narrative that nurtures a sense of reverence and awe and invests in the growth of the human soul through unity and acceptance. In the composer’s words, “Getting to Jerusalem means reconnecting, finding your way back to that center that represents reverence for this creation. And it’s tradition and religion that have perpetuated the connection to the eternal.”


Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and selection from Mozart’s Requiem
John K. Russell, conductor
Raul Prieto Ramirez, organist

Saturday, July 31, 2021 8:30pm
Spreckels Organ Pavilion at Balboa Park

The SD Master Chorale marked its return to live performance in a unique collaboration with San Diego Civic Organist Raul Prieto Ramirez at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in iconic Balboa Park. The Chorale, led by music director John K. Russell, performed the finale of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and selections from Mozart’s Requiem as the culminating event of a day-long arts festival hosted by the Spreckels Organ Society. This dynamic program featured brand new transcriptions for the Spreckels Organ created and performed by Raul Prieto Ramirez specifically for this concert.

War Requiem with the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus
Steven Schick, conductor

Saturday, March 12, 2022 7:30pm
Sunday, March 13, 2022 2:00pm
Mandeville Auditorium, UCSD

Members of the SD Master Chorale will join the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus to present two performances of Britten’s masterpiece, War Requiem. Our Music Director, John K. Russell, will perform as tenor soloist for this performance which LJSO Music Director Steven Schick will conduct.

Songs of Ascent at Carnegie Hall with Manhattan Concert Productions
John K. Russell, conductor

Monday, June 13, 2022
Carnegie Hall

Singers from the SD Master Chorale will form the core of a festival chorus to perform the New York premiere of Shawn Kirchner’s Songs of Ascent, conducted by Music Director John K. Russell. A series of open rehearsals in San Diego will feature guest appearances by composer Shawn Kirchner and allow participating choral singers from San Diego to rehearse with the members of the SD Master Chorale. Once in New York, Dr. Russell will prepare the chorus and orchestra for this one-time performance on the stage of the world’s most iconic concert hall.


The SD Master Chorale connects all people to the joy of professional-caliber live choral music and enriches lives by sharing what we have in common—our voice.

As the SD Master Chorale celebrates its 60th Anniversary Season, it is dedicated to live music performances of the finest choral repertoire, including new compositions, concert versions of award-winning TV and film productions, shorter choral works, and classical master works. Featuring over 100 of the region’s finest singers, it has been the chorus of choice for the San Diego Symphony, Mainly Mozart Festival, La Jolla Music Society, and other fine performing arts organizations. It continues to extend community outreach programs to local elementary and high-school students, seniors, and global humanitarian needs. 

Widely recognized for its exciting, inspiring, and comforting performances, the SD Master Chorale is San Diego’s premier choral ensemble. The Chorale was founded in 1961, and today embraces diverse works of many genres to unite audiences and musicians of all cultures, religions, and generations. Each year, thousands of San Diego residents and visitors hear the Chorale outside the concert hall with the San Diego Symphony via broadcasts on KPBS, San Diego’s NPR station. The Chorale frequently performs in the San Diego Symphony’s summer series at the downtown bayfront Embarcadero.

For more information and details on all of these concerts, please visit our performance page.

Four types of subscription pricing:

  • Adult Subscription Price: $100. (Retail value: $130.)
  • Senior (65+ yrs): $75. (Retail value: $95.)
  • Student: $55. (Retail value: $70.)
  • Active Military: $55. (Retail value: $70.)

NOTE: Programs managed by our artistic partners (e.g., the San Diego Symphony, the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus, the Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church concert series) are ticketed by their organizers, and thus are not included in this subscription. Please see our performance page for more details.

Financial support is provided by the City of San Diego

The 60th Anniversary Season is sponsored in part by The Conrad Prebys Foundation

Cathedral Classics is funded in part by the City of Carlsbad’s Cultural Arts Office

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