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Las Vegas Master Singers History

Las Vegas Master Singers

Based in: Las Vegas, United States.

The Las Vegas Master Singers is a community choir that was founded in 1993 by Susan L. Johnson and a small group of dedicated vocalists who came together to sing "for the joy of it." The Master Singers quickly became recognized as one of the premiere choral organizations in the Las Vegas Valley. Now entering it's 20th season, this select group consists of almost 100 experienced musicians who represent a wide segment of Southern Nevada's community. Most have performed as soloists and choristers in a variety of settings around the United States. Many of them hold music degrees and have worked professionally as teachers, choral directors, organists, pianists, or performers. Membership in The Las Vegas Master Singers is achieved through audition.

In April 2002, after nine years as director, Susan Johnson "passed the baton" to Dr. Jocelyn K. Jensen. Dr. Jensen is well known in the Las Vegas musical community and brings very notable credentials to the organization. Mrs. Johnson was honored with a proclamation from Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn recognizing her contributions to the arts community in Las Vegas and Nevada. The Master Singers have performed a wide range of both sacred and secular choral music, from classical masterworks to jazz, patriotic, spirituals, and twentieth-century. Often innovative, their concerts have included traditional works of Handel, Haydn, Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms, and the more contemporary compositions of Bernstein, Gershwin, Berlin, Orff, and Rutter.

In 2003, the Las Vegas Master Singers Chamber Chorale was formed to perform in the Master Singers' regular concerts and in smaller venues around the Las Vegas Valley.

In an effort to forge positive relationships with other performing groups in the Las Vegas Valley, the Master Singers have sung with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, the Henderson Civic Symphony, the Desert Chorale, the Nevada Chamber Symphony, the Southern Nevada Opera Association, and the Cultural Arts Society.

This past year was highlighted by the Master Singers joining the UNLV Concert Choir and The Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society on stage with the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra at Las Vegas' fabulous new performing arts venue, The Smith Center, as well as recording a PBS special with The Canadian Tenors at the The Smith Center that is set to air this December.

Students from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Las Vegas Academy; Nevada School of the Arts; Las Vegas Dance Theater Studios; Boys Chorus of Southern Nevada; UNLV Children's Chorus and CCSN Jazz Ensemble have been given performance opportunities in a number of the Master Singers' concerts.

The choral ensemble has also founded the Susan L. Johnson Scholarship Fund. The fund, which was established in 2002 to honor the Master Singers' founder, awards financial assistance to qualifying UNLV choral students. Contributions have totaled almost $30,000.

The Las Vegas Master Singers, Ltd. is a registered nonprofit, patron-sponsored corporation, with 501(c)(3) status, and no affiliation to any religious institution. Nine members of the Master Singers serve as its Board of Directors.

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