Now in its fifth decade, Canterbury Voices has grown into the premier symphony chorus of Oklahoma, bringing singers and audiences from throughout our great state to the place where music truly comes alive.
Canterbury strives to consistently offer artistic and educational experiences of the highest quality each year to the broadest and most diverse audience possible in the Central Oklahoma region.
Canterbury Voices was founded in May 1969 as Canterbury Choral Society, and began at All Souls Episcopal Church with 60 singers. Our first concert outside was a sold out performance held at the former Stage Center in downtown OKC. Canterbury now performs in Oklahoma City’s premier performance venue, the Civic Center Music Hall.
In 1997, Canterbury took the reins of the Children’s Choral Society of Oklahoma, and grew into a four-choir, 200-voice educational program. The 150-member Adult Chorus is the largest of its kind in Oklahoma. All singers are auditioned, most with extensive musical experience, and come from all over Oklahoma.
Canterbury Voices collaborates with arts organizations including the OKC Philharmonic, Oklahoma City Ballet, and Oklahoma City Jazz Orchestra, as well as many talented singers and musicians from around the United States, including Kelli O’Hara, Sarah Coburn, Gabriel Preisser, Ron Raines, and Andrea Bocelli. Canterbury Voices also strives to grow the catalog of new music by commissioning new choral works by composers including Stephen Paulus, Edward Knight, Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate, David Janssen, and Dominick Argento.
Canterbury Voices shares a unique partnership with Oklahoma City University’s Wanda L. Bass School of Music through the creation of a joint artistic position and music internships, fulfilling a combined vision for forming an artistic center in Oklahoma for choral excellence.
Canterbury Voices presented music for ‘A Time of Healing’ five days after the OKC Murrah Building Bombing in downtown Oklahoma City. Joined by President and Mrs. Bill Clinton, Governor and Mrs. Frank Keating, and Reverend Billy Graham, the service was held at the OKC Fairgrounds.
Canterbury Voices joined with legendary jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck and the Dave Brubeck Quartet to present ‘To Hope: A Celebration!‘ at the Civic Center. In this same season, Canterbury Voices also presented the world premiere ‘A Procession of Seasons‘ by composer Stephen Paulus.
Presented the World Premiere ‘Cenotaph‘ by Dominic Argento for the American Choral Directors Association’s 50th Anniversary.
Presented the Oklahoma Premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s ‘MASS,’ a fully-staged music theatre piece, utilizing over 300 performers from Canterbury Voices, Canterbury Youth Choruses, and Oklahoma City University.
Presented the World Premiere ‘Misha’ Sipokni‘ (The Old Ground) by Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate. Joined by the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, the piece was sung entirely in Chickasaw.
Presented the World Premiere ‘Of Perpetual Solace‘ by Edward Knight and MJ Alexander to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Oklahoma City Murrah Building Bombing. The concert included the Canterbury Youth Voices Chorale, Soprano Lisa Reagan Love, and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.
Canterbury Voices was named the winner of The American Prize for 2022 in Choral Performance, Community Division. In October, Canterbury received 2nd Place in The American Prize, for Virtual Performance, Community Division, for their world premiere performance Of Perpetual Solace.
Canterbury Voices performed with Andrea Bocelli and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic as part of the Believe North American Tour on June 23 at the Paycom Center.
On May 1, 2023, it was announced that Dr. Julie Yu will be the next Artistic Director of Canterbury Voices.