The Dessoff Choirs, Inc
Written February 4, 2003
The Dessoff Choirs, an independent ensemble of singers founded in 1924 by Margarete Dessoff, is dedicated to performing an adventurous range of the choral repertoire. We do this for the enjoyment of an enthusiastic and supportive audience as well as for the musical enrichment of our members. Dessoff self-produces a broad variety of concert programs performed by our members and, when appropriate, professional instrumentalists and soloists. Dessoff ranks among a select group of avocational singers hired to perform regularly with nationally and internationally recognized professional arts organizations. We are sought after because of the quality of our sound, our musicianship, and the professionalism we bring to each engagement. Run by its singing members, Dessoff offsets its operating expenses with ticket sales, member dues, donor contributions, and investment income.
We sing for fun and the love of music. To the degree that they can, members are encouraged to volunteer their services to provide financial and administrative support to the organization. The contributions of all members are crucial to maintaining our artistic excellence, financial growth and stability, audience development, and musical enjoyment.
Dessoff is an avocational ensemble that continuously strives for artistic excellence. Our paid Music Director, selected by the chorus from among outstanding professionals in the field, is dedicated to maintaining this standard by shaping our sound and identity. The Music Director auditions and invites members to sing with the choir, and members are asked to re-audition each season. Singers are expected to commit to: 1) participate in the entire season’s concerts, with the goal of maintaining consistent growth and choral balance, 2) outside musical preparation, thereby enabling rehearsals to be devoted to musical refinement, and 3) fostering a professional environment.
While continuing our historical emphasis on performing rarely heard music, we also program a rich variety of repertoire from all periods and styles. Musical selections range from works for large vocal ensembles accompanied by orchestra and chamber works involving few instrumentalists, to a cappella pieces for small ensembles.
Our seasons blend self-produced performances with paid alliances with professional organizations. The balance of these programs is dynamic and changes in response to new opportunities that further our musical growth and fit our repertoire standards. These collaborations provide the additional benefit of augmenting our revenue.
We seek to reach a broad listening public, striving to maximize both the size and diversity of our audience. Additionally, we look to enhance the appreciation of choral music through a variety of efforts, such as live performances, recordings, and educational outreach.
We are self-governing, with an elected Board of Directors. We entrust our Music Director and elected leadership with a broad range of duties and responsibilities, defined by the By-Laws, policies, and procedures of the organization. As individual singing members, we provide support and constructive feedback to the Board of Directors and the Music Director.
We are committed to ensuring the stability and longevity of our financial resources so that we may continue to support challenging and unusual programming, facilitate musical development of the membership, and further outreach in the community. We look to increase revenue from our programming as well as enhance our constituency of individual, corporate, and foundation contributors.