About the Lancaster Chamber Singers

The Lancaster Chamber Singers, directed by Jay W. Risser, has played a major role in quality performances of choral masterpieces in central Pennsylvania since the group's founding in 1978. From its inception, the mission of the Lancaster Chamber Singers has been to provide choral ensemble opportunities for experienced voices in the greater Lancaster area and to bring to life for both audience and performer the great choral heritage of our culture. The select group consists of 35 to 40 auditioned vocalists from varied walks of life from central Pennsylvania.

Performing primarily in Lancaster County and its immediate surroundings, the Lancaster Chamber Singers has also appeared in such prestigious settings as the National Cathedral in Washington DC, and has a CD recording to its credit. In addition to performing a capella, the group performs with Lancaster area instrumentalists and chamber ensembles. Performances of note include Mozart's Requiem with former Metropolitan Opera bass/baritone John Darrenkamp, Ralph Vaughan Williams' Five Mystical Songs with Met baritone Mark Oswald, a benefit concert for the victims of 2005's hurricanes sponsored and performed by the group, and the Pennsylvania premiere of James Bassi's Harpsonnets, based on the works of Shakespeare and featuring New York City harpist Ray Pool.

In 2007, the Lancaster Chamber Singers premiered Voices of Psalms, a work based on an Amish hymn, by local composer Pomice Stoltzfus. Also in 2007, the group was invited to help celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown settlement with a concert at Bruton Parish Church, Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.

In May 2009 the Lancaster Chamber Singers celebrated their 30th anniversary with a concert, attended by nearly 500 people, featuring Beethoven's Mass in C Major with orchestra and guest soloists. Special recognition was given to former conductors and accompanists, many of whom were in attendance.