Our History

Now in its fourth decade, Atlanta Master Chorale has crafted one of America’s finest choral sounds, bringing singers and audiences to the place where music touches spirit. As a result, the choir was honored with Chorus America’s Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence in 2013 and the 2014 Prudential Board Leadership Award from BoardSource. Capitalizing on the momentum of these accolades, the choir was awarded a coveted performance spot at the 2017 American Choral Directors Association National Conference in Minneapolis, performing for nearly 4,000 of the country’s most dedicated choral professionals.

Begun in 1985 as Gwinnett Festival Singers, the group gained momentum well beyond its initial suburban reach, drawing singers and audiences from throughout metropolitan Atlanta. When Dr. Eric Nelson joined as Artistic Director in 2000, the Board formalized this expanding sphere of influence and Dr. Nelson’s artistic vision under the name Atlanta Sacred Chorale. Dr. Nelson’s exceptional leadership and field-leading conducting skills have propelled the professionally trained, but always volunteer group to national recognition as a refined and dedicated community choir. In 2013, the group took another step toward leadership in choral artistry by settling into the designation, challenge, and vision-driven name of Atlanta Master Chorale.

Throughout its development, Atlanta Master Chorale has consistently celebrated material drawn from a broad spectrum of choral music. Performing nearly 100 different pieces over five main concerts each season- from historic and newly commissioned a cappella songs, to accompanied major and minor works- Atlanta Master Chorale audiences enjoy beautiful music from nearly every genre and period. The ensemble’s two choral series, published by MorningStar and E.C. Schirmer, capture new repertoire premiered by Atlanta Master Chorale, and are helping to add vibrant new music to the choral field. With a dedicated board, staff, and roster of volunteer choristers, Atlanta Master Chorale is poised to continue down the path toward its mission to “lift the spirit through choral artistry” for many years to come.

2017 American Choral Directors Association National Convention Featured Choir

Atlanta Master Chorale was selected from nearly 300 auditioning choirs to perform at the American Choral Directors Association 2017 National Convention in Minneapolis. Fewer than 30 choirs, and only a handful of community choirs, were asked to perform in front of the nearly 4,000 choral directors from around the country who convene every 2 years to celebrate choral artistry.

We were thrilled and humbled to accept the invitation to be a part of the conference theme “A Life of Song,” which honored choral music’s enduring ability to have meaning in every stage of life. In addition to some of our favorite music from recent concerts you’ve attended, our program for this national spotlight concert included a new commission by American Composer Shawn Kirchner, written just for Atlanta Master Chorale, and premiered at the convention.

“Singing at National ACDA is the pinnacle of choral achievement for any ensemble, but especially for a community choir. This is a stunning milestone, and a tribute to Atlanta Master Chorale’s remarkable talent and commitment of time and energy over many months (and for some, many years) of Tuesday night rehearsals!”
– Eric Nelson, Artistic Director

2014 Prudential Award for Board Governance, BoardSource

Among thousands of BoardSource member organizations across America, Atlanta Master Chorale took home top honors, the Prudential Leadership Award, at the 2014 BoardSource Leadership Forum.
“I am enormously proud of what we have achieved together as an organization,” — artistic director, Eric Nelson. “Our artistic achievement has been fueled and supported by our amazing board members.”

2013 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence from Chorus America

The Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence is presented annually to one member choir of Chorus America which demonstrates artistic excellence, a strong organizational structure, and a commitment to outreach, education, and/or culturally diverse activities. Prior recipients include Dale Warland Singers, Chanticleer, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Los Angeles Master Chorale, VocalEssence and most recently in the adult volunteer choir category, Choral Arts. Thank you, Chorus America! We would also like to thank our board members, Artistic Director, officers, singers, and especially our audience and loyal fans who’ve made this tremendous honor possible!

Our Mission

To inspire and enrich the lives of our community through the performance of inspirational choral music, to sing at the highest level of choral artistry, and to be a standard of excellence among performing arts organizations.

Contact Us

Atlanta Master Chorale
PO Box 133201
Atlanta GA, 30333
Phone: 404.915.4541


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Our Musical Outreach

We are teachers, students, executives, parents, professors, attorneys, scientists and church musicians. Together, our combined musical influence reaches an estimated 14,000 people inside and outside of Atlanta each week.


Corporate Leadership Training

Our leadership training seminars provide a progressive look into the similarities between leading a company and conducting a choir. Contact us for more information about participating in one of our leadership trainings!


Community Choral Festivals

By hosting multiple choirs each year, our Atlanta Community Choral Festival joins hundreds of Atlanta’s most dedicated artists together to honor our city through music. Contact us about getting involved!

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