The Dessoff Choirs, under the baton of Malcolm J. Merriweather, music director, is one of the leading choruses in New York City, with an established reputation for pioneering performances of choral works from the Renaissance era through the 21st century. Since its founding in 1924, Dessoff’s mission is to enrich the lives of its audiences and members through the performance of new or rarely heard choral music. Dessoff concerts, professional collaborations, community outreach, and educational initiatives are dedicated to stimulating public interest in and appreciation of choral music as an art form that enhances the culture and life of these times.
One of the key tenets of Dessoff’s mission has been to offer rarely—performed choral music and, at the same time, provide talented singers the opportunity to sing some of the world’s finest choral masterpieces. Dessoff fulfills this twin charge by producing its own concerts each season (often with an emphasis on the music of living composers), and, as one of the top choruses in New York City, by performing with major New York and visiting orchestras. The ‘s’ in Choirs connotes the group’s various incarnations—from Dessoff’s core group of 60 singers, to the Symphonic Choir assembled for larger engagements and Chamber Choir selected to present more intimate works.
A self—governing membership organization, singing members pay dues, sell tickets, serve as board members, and provide support, financially and in—kind, to the chorus. For the past decade, Dessoff has provided opportunities for intergenerational singing for NYC public high school students through its Singing Scholar Program. Here is a full list of board members and singing members as well as information on auditions.