About Us // 50 Years ... and Beyond


Masterworks Chorale is proud of our history as an integral part of the arts scene on the peninsula, and we look forward to a vibrant future. Our special golden anniversary season exemplified the legacy that has sustained Masterworks for the past fifty years and the vision that will propel us forward for the next fifty.

Founded in 1964 by Galen Marshall and currently under the direction of Dr. Bryan Baker, Masterworks Chorale performs a rich variety of music, from major works of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, to modern masterpieces, and new works by contemporary composers. This innovative programming makes Masterworks endlessly engaging for both performer and listener. Our season opens with the ambitious production of Mendelssohn’s grand oratorio, Elijah, truly a magnificent work with its enthralling musical drama and pathos.

A community chorale in the best sense of the term, Masterworks is comprised of 100 singers from all around the Bay Area and from all walks of life, united in a love of wonderful music. All the members dedicate not only their voices, but also their time and effort to run this volunteer organization. Our December holiday concert is a favorite occasion for embracing our audience community; the “Home for the Holidays” program features an uplifting selection of seasonal music, an opportunity for the whole family to join in singing with us, and holiday cookies for all!

Masterworks values collaborations with other arts organizations in the area. We have joined forces with Hillsdale High School Choir, Ragazzi Boys Chorus, Peninsula Girls Chorus, and Peninsula Cantare. In Fall of 2013 we were delighted to be featured guests with the Peninsula Symphony. In its dedication to presenting performances of exceptional quality, Masterworks engages only professional orchestral musicians and soloists; this Masterworks Chorale Orchestra returns in the spring as we present Carl Orff’s thrilling Carmina Burana in collaboration with Hillsdale High School Choir and Ragazzi Boys Chorus.

Although happily rooted on the peninsula, Masterworks constantly seeks to expand its reach and enrich its experiences. In addition to international touring, Masterworks has been invited to perform several times to New York City, most recently at Carnegie Hall in a production by Eric Whitacre conducted by the composer. This spring the Chorale will return to New York to sing Carmina Burana under the baton of Vance George, four time Grammy winner and long time maestro of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus.

Always seeking new ways to engage with our audience and community, Masterworks cultivates an approach to music that makes it accessible to everyone. We round out this landmark season with an ingenious program, “Some Enchanted Evening,” which brings together diverse works all dealing with the joy and anguish of love. Featuring the lovely Liebeslider Waltzer by Brahms alongside selections from Gershwin and other Broadway favorites, this concert is sure to include some of your favorites as well as some delightful new discoveries.

Please refer to our Season Page for a complete listing of the year’s concerts. Thank you for being a part of this exciting season. We are so glad you’re here!