In 1935, two years after founding the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and realizing how much choral music would enhance the Orchestra’s concert programming, Dr. Paul Katz founded the original, all-volunteer Dayton Philharmonic Chorus (DPO Chorus). The work of Charles Wendelken-Wilson, the Dayton Philharmonic’s second Music Director, brought about the DPC’s reorganization as an even more vital part of the Orchestra. Former directors of the DPO Chorus include Clark Haines, Jeffrey Powell, and Hank Dahlman. In 2022, the DPC appointed Dr. Steven Hankle as its new director. The Chorus Manager is Carolyn Sweezy.
Come and Sing with Us!
The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus is an all-volunteer, auditioned chorus with a decades-long history of choral singing. We are a diverse group with members of different backgrounds and occupations who come from all over the Miami Valley!
2023-2024 Season for DPO Chorus
- Music of Queen | October 7, 2023
- Handel Messiah (DPO Chamber Choir) | December 13, 2023
- Brahms A German Requiem | March 8 & 9, 2024
- Holst The Planets (Women of DPO Chorus) | April 5 & 6, 2024
Much of the Chorus’s energy is devoted to the symphonic choral repertoire (works for chorus and orchestra) in partnership with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, ranging from pieces by Mozart to commissions and American premieres.
In a typical year, the Chorus presents three to four programs with the DPO during their subscription season (September-May) The Chorus is most frequently heard at Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center which was built in 2003 and sits in the heart of downtown Dayton, Ohio. The Chorus, in full or in part (chamber choir), may also appear at holiday and Pops concerts, and at any number of local and regional venues.
The Chorus rehearses every Tuesday from August-May from 7-9:30 pm at the University of Dayton. During the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra concert weeks, members can expect two rehearsals with the Orchestra, and two performances. (This standard formula is sometimes altered.) Rehearsals are occasionally added at the discretion of the Director of the Chorus.
Yes, there is a fee of $10 per member, excluding high school and college students. This fee helps individuals unable to afford the cost of singing with the chorus an opportunity to participate. The organization provides members with scores, learning materials, parking passes, and ticket discounts.
Yes! Most members of the Chorus are not professional musicians but instead work in a wide variety of industries such as healthcare, business, education, and more. Some have degrees in music, but many do not. If you love the thrill of choral-orchestral music, if you like to sing—that’s all you need.
Each week, the Director of the Chorus announces the music that will be covered in the following week’s rehearsal. Learning materials are made available online, and the singers are expected to learn the assigned excerpts in preparation for the following week’s rehearsal. This enables us to rehearse efficiently and prepare a high standard of music-making each season.