Established in 1985 by conductor James Greasby, the Chattanooga Bach Choir provides an opportunity for local musicians to perform choral-orchestral masterworks by J.S. Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Fauré, and other composers from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Modern eras. The Choir’s repertoire also includes less-frequently performed chamber and a cappella choral works of all periods.
Since its inception, the Chattanooga Bach Choir has performed more than thirty of Bach’s cantatas, motets, and larger choral works, including Actus Tragicus, the St. John Passion and Mass in B Minor. In addition, the Choir has performed Handel anthems and the complete oratorio Messiah, all six of Haydn’s late masses, numerous anthems by Henry Purcell and other English composers, and the music of French composers, including the Fauré and Duruflé Requiems. In recent seasons, the Bach Choir performed Mendelssohn’s oratorio Elijah, joined by the Center for Creative Arts Concert Choir, and Rachmaninoff’s complete All-Night Vigil, in collaboration with local groups Voci Virili Men’s Consort and Voice of Reason Women’s Ensemble. During its thirty-four year history, the Chattanooga Bach Choir has performed the works of more than sixty composers.
In 2006, the Chattanooga Bach Choir performed with the Tennessee Chamber Orchestra, premiering a work by Tennessee composer Christopher Tew, and in 2007, was the featured choir at the Bach Festival in Rome, Georgia. In 2009, the Choir performed for the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Tennessee State Convention. The Bach Choir draws members from diverse backgrounds and occupations and represents a range of Chattanooga’s finest amateur and professional singers and instrumentalists.
David Long succeeded Jim Greasby as conductor and artistic director in 2005. During his 14-year tenure, he has expanded the Chattanooga Bach Choir’s programs and repertoire to include an annual series featuring Bach’s cantatas, as well as a variety of musical styles.