Baltimore Choral Arts Music Director Tom Hall to Retire in July 2017

Jan 12, 2016

35-Year Tenure Includes Recordings, International Tours and an Emmy Award

Baltimore Choral Arts Society today announced that Tom Hall plans to retire from his position as Music Director in July, 2017, after the 2016-17 concert season.  In making the announcement, Tom said, “For the past three and half decades, it has been my honor to work with hundreds of talented and dedicated singers, players, staff members and board members.  When I conclude my 35th season, I will pass the baton to new artistic leadership.  The chorus has never sounded better, we have exceptional leadership on the Board and the Staff, and a loyal and enthusiastic base of support.   I am confident that a new music director will be able to build upon the success we have enjoyed, and that Choral Arts will continue to make a significant contribution to the cultural vitality of our region.“

Tom continued, “My plan is to stay in the community I have called home for the past 34 years.  I will continue my work as the host of Maryland Morning on WYPR Radio, and in that capacity, I look forward to reporting on the many ways that individuals in the arts and cultural community, political leaders, business people, educators and others are working to make Baltimore a place where all of us can be fully engaged in meaningful and gratifying lives.”

Baltimore Choral Arts Board President Richard Dellheim commented, “For over 30 years, Tom Hall has guided the Baltimore Choral Arts Society with peerless passion, vision, and artistry.  His incomparable talents have helped make our chorus a shining beacon of artistic excellence.  Under Tom's leadership, the Baltimore Choral Arts Society has touched countless lives across our city, state, and the world. Our board, and our city, will be ever grateful to Tom for his towering artistic legacy."

Tom Hall was appointed Music Director of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society in 1982, succeeding the founder of the organization, Theodore Morrison.  During his tenure, Hall has introduced more than 150 new works to the Choral Arts repertoire including commissions from Rosephayne Dunn Powell, Libby Larsen, Peter Schickele, and others.  He led the Chorus on two international concert tours, produced four recordings, and established the organization as a regular presence on radio and television.  In addition, Tom created popular annual concerts like Christmas for Kids, Sing Along Messiah, and the annual free Community Sing, as well as educational initiatives like the Student Composer Project.  The chorus appears regularly with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as well as orchestras throughout the mid-Atlantic region.  Hall’s tenure included collaborations with a number of internationally acclaimed artists like Dave Brubeck, the Kings Singers, Chanticleer, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Anonymous 4, and country star Kathy Mattea. 

Under Hall’s leadership, the chorus has been awarded multiple grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, in highly selective and competitive grant programs.  The organization also receives support from state and local arts agencies in recognition of its tradition of artistic excellence and imaginative programming, and it enjoys strong support from local corporations, foundations, and many individuals.  Hall helped to raise a $1.8 million endowment to undergird its programming, and five years ago, the Choral Arts Board established the Fund for Artistic Excellence in Hall’s honor.   The organization has operated without deficits for most of Hall’s tenure.

A committee, to be comprised of members of the Board, Staff and Chorus, will conduct a national search for Hall’s successor. 

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In times of uncertainty, we often turn to the arts for solace and expression. Choral Arts aims to help our community heal through music during these trying times. To that end, we have launched several new initiatives to keep our singers and audiences connected, such as Music with the Maestro and Masterworks Moments.

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