Santa Fe Desert Chorale Celebrates 35 years!

Founded in 1982 by Larry Bandfield, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale is one of the longest continually performing professional music organizations in New Mexico, as well as one of the most distinguished. The Chorale was a recipient of the 2006 Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and in 2016 was named the “Best Choral Group of Santa Fe” by the Santa Fe Reporter. Scott Cantrell of The Dallas Morning News characterized the Chorale as presenting “stunning singing…incredible power.”

Now entering his ninth season as Music Director, Joshua Habermann leads the 24-voice professional Chorale in repertoire spanning seven centuries, from medieval polyphony to contemporary works. The composition of the Chorale is truly national in scope and the ensemble is recognized among the finest American chamber choirs.

Throughout its history, the Chorale has maintained a commitment to give voice to music from Hispanic and Native American communities. Dedicated to advancing the composers of our time, the Chorale has commissioned twenty-two works by eighteen composers; three quarters of the composers commissioned have been American. In addition, another seven works have been given their world or American premieres by the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. The ensemble performs at historical sites in Santa Fe such as the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis and the Loretto Chapel, as well as other venues throughout the Southwest. A recent highlight was an invitational appearance at the 2015 American Choral Directors Association National Conference in Utah which was later broadcast by Minnesota Public Radio.

The Santa Fe Desert Chorale presents both summer and winter festivals of concerts featuring a wide range of literature from around the world. The 2017 Summer Festival Season will take place from July 19 through August 13, 2017. The 2017 Winter Festival Season, “Home for the Holidays,” is scheduled from December 16 to December 23, 2017 with performances in Albuquerque, Los Alamos and Santa Fe.

The Desert Chorale prides itself on its strong relationships within the community of Northern New Mexico, and enjoys collaborations with Creativity for Peace, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, New Mexico History Museum, NDI-NM, Performance Santa Fe, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Santa Fe Pro Musica, and The Santa Fe Opera among others. Community engagement is an integral part of the Desert Chorale’s mission.

“It is a privilege to be part of a group whose focus on artistry cultivates a greater generosity of self and giving to the entirety of repertoire and to the audiences.”

Keely Rhodes
Keely RhodesMezzo-soprano

“Working with this level of talent is truly something special for us, and ultimately, for our audiences. Our collective goal to make music greater than any one could do alone is what makes this such a unique experience.”

David Farwig
David FarwigBaritone

“This ensemble typifies the spirit of the land of enchantment. Warm, curious and enduring. What a treat to rejoice in beauty together through singing!”

J.D. Burnett
J.D. BurnettTenor

“I don’t have enough superlatives to describe this group. Fabulous talent, artistry, incredible repertoire…it’s all there!”

Kathlene Ritch
Kathlene RitchSoprano

“It’s an immense privilege to make music in such a special place with such a superlative group of musicians. The beauty of the surroundings, the dedication and talent of everyone involved, the receptiveness and appreciation of the Santa Fe audiences, all contribute to an ideal atmosphere in which to be a performing artist.”

Luthien Brackett
Luthien BrackettMezzo-soprano

“Several of the pieces gave me goosebumps. The singer’s ethereal voices lifting one closer to heaven. I especially enjoyed Wayfaring Stranger. And I loved Meredith Ruduski’s singing of I Want Jesus to Walk with Me, it gave me chills! The two premier pieces Reflections and Song of the Sky Loom, were wonderfully sensitive and moving. You could hear a pin drop when the Choral finished singing them. Absolutely beautiful!!!”

AlecAlbuquerque Audience Member, 2016

Events Calendar

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Desert Chorale performances are made possible, in part, by:

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