Founded by Arthur J. Holton in 1952, the Stockton Chorale has been an integral part of the Central Valley’s musical life for over sixty years. The largest choral group between Sacramento and Fresno, the Chorale performs regularly with the Stockton Symphony as well as presenting its own subscription series featuring a wide range of choral music styles. After Dr. Holton’s retirement, the Chorale’s rich history of noteworthy performances and overseas tours continued under Mark Clark, Joe Miller, Edward Cetto, and Magen Solomon. Dr. Bruce Southard was named artistic director and conductor in 2015.
Recently celebrating its 65 anniversary with a gala concert that included world premieres of two newly commissioned works, the Chorale has returned to Delta College as a zero-unit class with no fee to participate. In doing so, the Chorale has renewed its focus on high-quality music-making and community involvement. Singers aged 9 to 90 of any experience level can find a home in one of the organization’s adult or youth choruses.
Bruce Southard, Stockton Chorale Artistic Director
Dr. Bruce Southard is currently the Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at San Joaquin Delta College and has more than thirty years of experience working with choirs of all ages in California, Kentucky, Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota.
Teaching is Dr. Southard’s passion, and he was named the Outstanding Teacher of the Year in the College of Arts and Sciences at Dickinson State University in 2013. As a conductor, his choirs have appeared at state and regional conventions in the North Central region of the United States. He has served as guest conductor for several regional honor choirs in Montana and North Dakota, in addition to his active adjudication and clinic schedule. His applied voice students have been recognized at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions district level and in 2012 one of his students was a national finalist in the MTNA Young Artist Competition.
Dr. Southard studied conducting with William Dehning, Kenneth Davis, Michael Weber and JoAnn Miller. He has also worked directly with Howard Swan, Eph Ehly, Bernard Rubenstein, and Alfred Mann. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of the Pacific, his Master of Music degree from Western Kentucky University and his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Music from North Dakota State University.