The mission of the Bloomington Chambers Singers is to perform choral works and, thereby, provide opportunities for performance, education, and community service for the Bloomington area.
Bloomington Chamber Singers (BCS) is a community-based, nonprofit corporation registered with Indiana and Federal agencies, and owned and governed by its singers, each of whom is a voting member of the Corporation.
BCS provides a rare opportunity for amateur singers to perform major choral works and to hone their craft under the guidance of a professional conductor. The excellence of the ensemble is reflected by the large number of individuals who audition each year, the group’s membership continuity, the consistently large audiences we draw from Bloomington and several surrounding counties, and our laudatory reviews. Over the years, BCS has increased in size, developed an effective governing infrastructure with appropriate financial resources, and most importantly achieved a well-recognized high level of musicianship and breadth of repertoire.
Art is one of the most characteristic human activities there is, enriching and improving us all. There is, simply put, no culture anywhere in the world that does not sing, and our activities provide something no other community organization does. We are not a religious group per se, although the greatest number of our concerts are centered on the religious music of the West because that is where the repertoire of our common cultural tradition lies. Our first choices are always aesthetic, but we are cognizant of the values of the communities we serve and try to choose pieces that are not only beautiful but valuable emotionally and intellectually.
In addition to our annual concert series, BCS enriches the community in other ways. During the holiday season we carol on the Courthouse Square and in downtown shopping areas. For many years, BCS has invited the public to join in an open sing-along of the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah. An average of 300 singers and listeners attend each year to enjoy this annual tradition, which benefits the Hoosier Hills Food Bank.
BCS is governed by a 12-member Board of Directors, elected by the members. The President is the Chief Executive Officer of the corporation and works closely with the Music Director in managing the activities of the group. Typically, our singers compose the Board, although occasionally a member is drawn from the larger community.
The music staff consists of three paid professionals:
1. Music Director (Gerald Sousa): The Music Director is responsible for the artistic direction of the ensemble, developing each season’s concert schedule and overseeing the musical preparation.
2. Assistant Music Director (Kyle Karum): The Assistant Director acts in close collaboration with the Music Director in the preparation for and production of all our activities.
3. Accompanist (Alice Baldwin): The accompanist provides the piano support during rehearsals and frequently also is a member of the concert orchestra.
In addition to the core music staff, BCS engages soloists and instrumentalists as appropriate to the repertoire. BCS maintains a close working relationship with the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, and is privileged to collaborate frequently with outstanding faculty and student artists.