Originally known as Tuscaloosa Community Singers, Prentice Concert Chorale was formed in 1970, by choral professors: Dr. Frederick Prentice of the University of Alabama and Dr. Robert Herrema of Stillman College; Ila Glynn, a well -known and accomplished music teacher, and Doris Leapard, a local merchant and longtime champion of the arts.
In celebration of it’s 50th anniversary, Prentice Concert Chorale commissioned a major work for chorus, chamber orchestra, and soloists. Composer, C.G. “Sonny” Walden, III combined original texts from retired Episcopal bishop, Steven Charleston, Psalm texts, and traditional movements from ordinary mass to form “Requiem of Hope.” Premiere performances of “Requiem of Hope,” a blending of Native American spiritualism and traditional Christian faith, were March 31 and April 1, 2023 and featured soloists: Krista Adams Santilli, soprano and Christopher Wentworth, bass-baritone.
In the choir’s Fifty+ years’ history it has performed with the University of Alabama Symphony, Tuscaloosa Symphony, Birmingham Symphony, and Alabama Symphony Orchestras. Guest artists who have performed with the choir include: Dave Brubeck, Jerome Hines, Sherrill Milnes, and William Warfield. The choir has presented great choral masterworks, including: Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and St. John’s Passion; Mozart’s Requiem and Vesperae Solennes; Brahms’ Requiem; Mendelssohn’s Elijah; and Orff’s Carmina Burana. In recent years, Prentice Concert Chorale presented Tuscaloosa’s first performance of the complete oratorio of Handel’s Messiah, and Alabama’s premiere performance of Carl Jenkins’ The Armed Man. In April 2012 Prentice Chorale presented Tuscaloosa’s first in over twenty-five years complete performance of J.S. Bach’s B minor Mass.
In additional to traditional choral music, Prentice Concert Chorale performs a broad repertoire of music ranging from “Let It Be, a Beatles’ Tribute Concert,” “Hot and Cole, Music of Cole Porter,” and “Broadway Now and Then.”