Phoenix Symphony Chorus volunteers musical excellence and camaraderie
March 20, 2018
The Phoenix Symphony Chorus, a 140-member volunteer arm of the Phoenix Symphony, performs everywhere from Symphony Hall and other local venues to Vienna, Salzburg and Carnegie Hall.
According to Chorus Master Tom Bookhout, chorus members collectively donate 20,000 volunteer hours a year to the symphony. Their repertoire ranges from classical works like Handel’s “Messiah” to “Harry Potter” film scores and all points in between. “It’s one of the real pleasures to get to do something that will make everybody happy,” Bookhout said.
While Bookhout spoke warmly of the social aspects of the group, a characteristic that keeps many members returning year after year, he said the group are hard workers, too. “Since we’re one of the largest cities in the country, we should have one of the best symphony choruses in the country,” he said, “and that’s always our goal.” Even when it’s not a piece the group is a fan of, they see it through and learn something every time, Bookhout says.
They have a responsibility – they’re constantly at the disposal of the symphony – but it’s always accompanied with a fun and lighthearted mood. Lifelong friendships are made within the group. Because there’s such a cooperative vibe, “there’s a lot of humor and good nature within the group,” the chorus master says.
Bookhout was joined by a small ensemble from the Phoenix Symphony Chorus, who performed “Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal,” arranged by Alice Parker, and “Caritas et Amor” by Z. Randall Stroope.
The Chorus will perform these pieces and more in a special one-night concert without the Phoenix Symphony on Friday, March 23 at 7:30 at Pinnacle Presbyterian Church in Scottsdale. Tickets are available through the Phoenix Symphony.
The symphony’s 2018-2019 season begins with an opening weekend starting on Sept. 14 with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. More information on the next season can be found here.