History of Baltimore Choral Arts Society

The Baltimore Choral Arts Society, now in its 52nd season, is one of Maryland's premier cultural institutions. The Symphonic Chorus, Full Chorus, Orchestra, and Chamber Chorus perform throughout the mid-Atlantic region, as well as in Washington, D.C., New York, and in Europe. Blake Clark joined Baltimore Choral Arts as Music Director in July, 2017, and Tom Hall was named Music Director Emeritus.

For the past 21 years, WMAR Television, the ABC network affiliate in Maryland, has featured Choral Arts in an hour-long special, Christmas with Choral Arts, which won an Emmy Award in 2006.  The ensemble has been featured frequently on The First Art (Public Radio International), Performance Today (National Public Radio) and VOX (XM Radio).  In Europe, Choral Arts was featured in a program devoted to the music of Handel broadcast on Radio Suisse Romande.  On local radio, Baltimore Choral Arts featured on Choral Arts Classics, a program on WYPR Radio hosted by Music Director Emeritus Tom Hall that features the Choral Arts Chorus and Orchestra.

In 2010, under the direction of then-Music Director Tom Hall, Choral Arts released Christmas at America’s First Cathedral on Gothic Records, recorded at the Baltimore Basilica, which includes familiar Christmas favorites as well as premieres by Rosephanye Dunn Powell and James Lee, III.  A recording with Dave Brubeck, featuring Brubeck’s oratorio, The Gates of Justice, was released internationally on the NAXOS label in 2004; Choral Arts is also featured on Introducing the World of American Jewish Music on Naxos. Choral Arts has two other recordings in current release: Christmas with Choral Arts and a live recording of the Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil.

 Acclaimed artists collaborating with Choral Arts have included Sweet Honey in the Rock, Chanticleer, Dave Brubeck, the King’s Singers, Anonymous 4, Peter Schickele, Kathy Mattea, and others. Baltimore Choral Arts’ innovative programs often feature both choral and orchestral musics, stage and theater works.

Baltimore Choral Arts Music Director Anthony Blake Clark is a conductor and composer, and he has led ensembles in the United States and Europe. His compositions have been heard across the country as well as in the UK, and the Czech Republic. Blake Clark has prepared choruses for Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Simon Halsey, Gijs Leenaars, and Julian Wilkins, for performances with prestigious ensembles including the Berlin Philharmonic and the Berlin Radio Choir.  He was also the assistant chorus master for the Berlin Philharmonic’s performance of Stravinsky’s “Oedipus Rex” under the baton of Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

Clark’s first major conducting activity began while still an undergraduate; at age 21 he co-founded The Texas Baroque Ensemble. He conducted the group’s premiere performance of Mozart’s Requiem in San Antonio, Texas, followed by a 4-city tour performing Handel’s Messiah.  A Texas native, Anthony Blake Clark received his Bachelor’s degree from Baylor University School of Music, where he studied composition and conducting, then moved to England and completed a Master’s degree in conducting, studying with Simon Halsey and Julian Wilkins at the University of Birmingham.

Currently a resident in the DC area, Clark was most recently Director of Music and Worship Arts at the Chevy Chase United Methodist Church where he led the Sanctuary Choir, and he was Artistic Director of the Soundings Concert Series.  Clark has also served as Artistic Director of St. Maries Musica, a chamber choir in Southern Maryland, as well as having served as Ensemble Director of the Richmond Women’s Chorus.

Board of Directors

Richard A. Dellheim

Sandra D. Boyd
Vice President

Anne Bear Powell
Vice President / Secretary

Gordon H. Glenn
Vice President

Dennis P. Cole

Ellen Clayton
Chorus Manager

Jeffery A. Austin

Polly E. Behrens

Ellen N. Bernard

Carmen M. Fonda

Tara L. Gulla

Nathanael D. Hartland, Esq.

Dayle F. Jones

Lauren Madsen

Karen Malecki

William H. Martin

Susan R. Maseth

Arnold Paskoff

James Piper III

Russell R. Reno, Jr., Esq.

Peter V. Savage

P. David Sowell

Alan Sweatman, M.D.

Judy Van Dyke

Stephen Wilcoxson

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