History

The Portland Symphonic Choir has been Portland’s Choir since 1945. Founded and directed by C. Robert Zimmerman, its original 80 singers performed the major choral works throughout the city, beginning with Handel’s Messiah in December of 1945.

PSC’s affiliation with the Oregon Symphony began in 1947, when the orchestra was known as Portland Symphony Orchestra. They and PSC have evolved a critically acclaimed and musically exciting relationship. Together we perform choral music that spans the ages and features genres of all sorts, from masses and light operas to contemporary compositions.

Every season since 1945, the thousands of regional singers who have performed with Portland Symphonic Choir have had the joy of offering regional audiences of all ages the unmatched opportunity to experience in person the great choral works—even as they enjoy learning and singing under some of the greatest choral conductors in the country.

Zimmerman led the Choir until 1961, followed by Frank Holman (1963 to 1973), David Wilson (1974 to 1978), and Bruce Browne (1979 to 2001). Our current artistic director is the incomparable Steven Zopfi, who has led the Choir since 2003.

To learn more about Portland Symphonic Choir, an in-depth history of the Choir, written by long-time PSC member Tom Hard, is available at the Oregon Encyclopedia, a project of the Oregon Historical Society and Portland State University.