Photo by Victor Chong
The Victoria Choral Society, directed by Brian Wismath, is a 120-member, auditioned, mixed-voice symphonic chorus, dedicated to presenting the finest choral music from baroque to contemporary. For more than 79 years, the Victoria Choral Society has played a leading role in the cultural life of Victoria, and has performed with every Victoria Symphony conductor since the Symphony’s inception.
The choir was created after a group of 200 singers, representing most of the church choirs of the day in Victoria, assembled in 1934 for the purpose of singing the Messiah. They agreed to continue singing together to promote choral music, and the Victoria Choral Society, at that time called the Victoria Choral Union, was formed. The instrumentalists later formed the Victoria Symphony Orchestra.
Recent performances with the symphony include Handel’s Messiah, Mozart's Requiem, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and Verdi’s Requiem. Each year, VCS produces its own concerts with orchestra and soloists, most recently Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, the Requiems of Fauré and Duruflé, and Haydn's Nelson Mass. Especially exciting was a collaboration with Ballet Victoria in Orff’s Carmina Burana. (See our concert history for a complete listing of our programs since our inception.)
This vibrant ensemble has flourished under the leadership of several well-known music directors, including Giuseppe Pietraroia, Michael Gormley, Brian Jackson, and Bruce More.
Victoria Choral Society is a member of the BC Choral Federation, the Association of Canadian Choral Communities, and Chorus America.