Please join us as we proudly celebrate our 2017-18 season. Hailed by audiences throughout Southern Arizona for its choral blend, technical precision and vocal artistry, ARS is a rigorously auditioned community of volunteer singers representing a variety of careers in business, education, engineering, information technology, law, medicine, social service, science and the arts.
A hallmark of the ARS tradition is our commitment to presenting high quality performances of the best new choral music as well as standard repertoire – from the Renaissance to well-known choral masterpieces, Americana and jazz, contemporary pieces and works commissioned by the group.
We share the belief that there is nothing more transformative than the human voice lifted in song.
Although ARS specializes in unaccompanied a cappella choral music, many of our concerts include larger works with orchestra and soloists, or instrumental accompaniment such as piano, harp, organ, strings, woodwinds, and percussion.
Our 34th season of sharing choral music with audiences of all ages in Tucson and Pima County, and our second season under the highly accomplished direction of our Music Director, Dr. Elliot Jones, promises to be a wonderful mix of musical tradition and innovation. The Arizona Daily Star and Tucson Weekly have described his performances as “powerful,” “outstanding,” and “chill-inducing.”
The Arizona Repertory Singers was founded in 1984 as the Arizona Recital Choir by Dennis Bonner as Music Director. The name was changed to the Arizona Repertory Singers in 1986 when ARS was incorporated as a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization.
ARS’s reputation for choral artistry flourished under the guidance of our widely respected Music Director for 25 years, Dr. Jeffry A. Jahn. As a tribute to Dr. Jahn’s exceptional musical leadership and contribution to the life of choral arts in Tucson, he was inducted posthumously into the 2014 Tucson Musicians Museum for “proven dedication to music, support and participation in community service … that has exceeded … the expectations for the award.”
ARS finished the 2014-15 season under the musical leadership of Dr. Jahn’s wife, Nadeen Jahn, who holds a degree in Music Education from Wichita State University.
During our 2015-16 season – a transition year for ARS following the unexpected passing of Dr. Jahn – we were fortunate to experience the musical leadership of Thomas E. Lerew as Interim Music Director while he concluded his doctoral degree in Choral Conducting at the University of Arizona, Fred Fox School of Music. Tom is now Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Our mission continues to expand under the musical direction of Dr. Elliot Jones. He envisions a future for ARS that features an even greater commitment to the choral culture of our community with more … singers, venues, ambitious collaborations and performances with local arts organizations and more outreach to those who have yet to experience the joy of live choral music.
Our Rich Choral History – Vocal Depth, Versatility
To inaugurate its 30th anniversary season as one of the longest-standing choral organizations in Tucson, ARS performed J.S. Bach’s festive Magnificat in D major and Respighi’s charming and vocally lush cantata, Laud to the Nativity, for our December concerts. These works were intentionally selected to demonstrate the versatility and vocal depth of ARS.
The grand finale for the 30th year celebration featured Voices at an Exhibition, an innovative choral music and artistic multimedia celebration of original commissioned compositions and original works of art by local artists who also sing with ARS. The premiere of this work demonstrated the relationship between choral music, written text and visual media, and was praised by the Arizona Daily Star, “The 45-voice ensemble might be setting a record of sorts; it’s not every day you find a choir – or any classical ensemble – rolling out four commissioned works in one concert.”
As part of our 25th Anniversary season, ARS performed a gala concert at the prestigious Stevie Eller Dance Theatre at the University of Arizona. The event included “Songs for Braithwaite,” a new work commissioned to honor founding ARS board member Dr. Helen S. Schaefer, by well-known contemporary choral composer Vijay Singh.
Sharing Our Passion for Choral Music
ARS enriches our community with live performances for audiences of all ages and backgrounds that also benefit local charitable and community organizations.
For the fourth year, we have been invited to perform for students from Tucson area Title 1 schools at the Berger Performing Arts Center through a partnership with Act One – a not-for-profit organization that engages students from underserved schools in arts learning opportunities. Act One has selected ARS as its only choral arts partner. Over the last four years, we have presented concerts to more than 1,275 students, and expect to sing for 500 more this season.
ARS was also invited by Patronato San Xavier to perform two concerts at the Mission in April 2017 benefiting the Patronato’s ongoing effort to restore this historical landmark.
Through the years, the Arizona Repertory Singers has built a reputation as the choral ensemble to request for musical entertainment at important community events. We have performed at more than 70 venues, including the dedication of the Helen S. Schaefer Poetry Center at the University of Arizona; the dedication of the Harris Hawk Sculpture at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, honoring the memory of Space Shuttle Columbia astronaut, Laurel Clark; Interfaith Community Services’ Music for the Soul concerts at the Fox Theatre; the Carondelet Hospice Holiday Tree of Memories event and the annual Music and Memories concert sponsored by the Academy for Cancer Awareness.
ARS has also performed in concert with other musical organizations in Tucson, including the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Tucson Pops Orchestra, Tucson Masterworks Chorale, the Sonoran Bells, and the Faculty Artist Series at the University of Arizona.
AZPM Classical 90.5 regularly broadcasts ARS holiday concerts as part of its Community Concert Series, making the ensemble’s diverse choral repertoire available to Arizona radio listeners as well as people around the world via streaming audio on the Internet.
The Arizona Repertory Singers is grateful to have received multi-year grant funding from the Arizona Commission on the Arts (ACA) and from the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona (formerly Tucson Pima Arts Council).