The Alabama Symphony Chorus formerly known as the Birmingham Concert Chorale was founded in 1966 as the Birmingham Civic Chorus under the direction of Bruce Tolbert of the University of Montevallo. In 1977, the name was changed to the Birmingham Concert Chorale. Past directors have included Hugh Thomas, Tom Gibbs, Timothy Banks, David Smith and Mark Ridings.
The Chorale enjoyed a long association with the former Alabama Symphony Orchestra. In 1997, with the rebirth of the ASO, the Birmingham Concert Chorale was formally designated as "The Official Chorus of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra." In recent years the Chorale has traveled to New York City for performances in Carnegie Hall, and also to England to participate in the International Cathedral Music Festival.
Starting with the 2010-2011 concert season, the Chorale officially merged into being a part of the Alabama Symphony and became the Alabama Symphony Orchestra Chorus. The ASOC exists to present artistically worthy and inspiring performances of great choral music that nurture the human spirit, preserve and foster our musical heritage, and enrich the cultural fabric of our community; and to be the indispensable partner of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in jointly presenting a legacy of treasured choral/orchestral masterpieces. To accomplish these objectives we will engage the most talented and committed chorale performers and fully develop their musical potential.
Contact the ASOC
American Voices – featuring the music of Randall Thompson: Friday, October 24, 2014
Handel's Messiah: Saturday, December 20, 2014
Carmina Burana: Friday and Saturday, April 10 & 11, 2015
The Music of John Williams from the Movies of Steven Spielberg: May 2, 2015
Dr. Philip Copeland, ASOC Conductor
Dr. Philip Copeland is Associate Professor of Music at Samford University where he directs the internationally acclaimed A Cappella Choir.
Prior to his position at Samford, Copeland was Director of Choral Activities at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Choirs under Dr. Copeland's direction have distinguished themselves on the national and international stage. His choir was featured in a solo performance at the 2010 conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Memphis, Tn as well as the November 2008 National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. In May 2008, the UAB choir won the Heinrich Schütz Perpetual Trophy for their performance of a work by the Baroque composer in the Fleischman International Choral Competition in Cork, Ireland. It was UAB's second international competition; the first was participation in the 34th annual Florlilege Vocal de Tours in Tours, France. The choir won two awards at the French competition: the Prix Du Ministère de La Culture, an award given for best interpretation of a French choral work, and shared the top award in the Mixed Choirs Category. The France tour also featured performances in historic Notre Dame Cathedral and other local venues. Other notable performances include a solo performance at the Southern Division Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in 2006.
Dr. Copeland serves as Chairman of Technology Committee for the American Choral Directors Association, one of six standing national committees. He is active on ChoralNet as both a frequent blogger and as Vice President of Web Operations. He frequently presents technology interest sessions at state, regional and national conferences of ACDA and MENC. He is married to Leigh and they have triplet seven-year old daughters, Catherine, Caroline, and Claire.