Pro Arte Singers
Meeting Times: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 2:30-3:50 p.m.
Pro Arte Singers is the top, professional-level vocal ensemble in the Jacobs School of Music. It is an elite chamber ensemble of experienced singers in which the artistic, vocal, and musical contributions of each individual singer are emphasized and of vital importance to the musical success of the ensemble.
Pro Arte works in short, concentrated and fast moving rehearsal periods on challenging repertoire. Singers come to rehearsal prepared and ready to work on the subleties of a highly artistic performance without spending unnecessary time in note-teaching. Vocal soloists for major works are most often chosen from within the ensemble.
A friendly and diverse group of musical colleagues, Pro Arte's roster includes both undergraduate and graduate students from all of the departments of the School of Music, including: voice, organ, piano, music theory, music history, early music, music education, and instrumental studies.
William Jon Gray, the conductor of the Pro Arte Singers, is the Chair of the Jacobs School of Music Choral Department. He is currently chorus director of the fully professional chorus of Music of the Baroque in Chicago, and appears frequently as guest chorus director with the professional chorus of the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago. He has been Associate Conductor of the Carmel Bach Festival, where he recruited and formed the fully professional Carmel Bach Festival Chorale.
Previous directors of the Pro Arte Singers include John Poole, director of the B.B.C. Singers from 1972 to 1989, and Paul Hillier, director of the Hilliard Ensemble and Theater of Voices.
The Pro Arte Singers recently performed John Harbison's A Clear Midnight (2009), which was commissioned for them by the Joshi Foundation in memory of Georgina Joshi, and toured with performances of Bach's Mass in B Minor, Handel’s Judas Macabbaeus and the Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine. In addition to early music, the ensemble regularly ventures into new music and is a major interpreter of the choral works of Sven David Sandström and Arvo Pärt.