About Us

Our Story

The Back Bay Chorale is a 120-member auditioned chorus led by Music Director Dr. Scott Allen Jarrett, drawing experienced singers from the greater Boston area. From our inception, we have committed to sharing music in the community with repertoire that ranges from Renaissance to contemporary in an annual concert series. For over forty years, the Chorale has performed major works of the choral repertoire including Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and  Mass in B Minor, Verdi’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Beethoven’s  Missa Solemnis, Orff’s  Carmina Burana, Handel’s Israel in Egypt, and Brahms’s  Ein deutsches Requiem.

The Back Bay Chorale has also commissioned and premiered many works, including: Marjorie Merryman’s Three Ballads; James Russell Smith’sCanto V: The Second Circle; Robert Kyr’s Unseen Rain and Passion According to Four Evangelists; Stephen Paulus’s Voices; Daniel Thomas Davis’s King David’s Songbook; Julian Wachner’s Symphony No. 1: Incantations and Lamentations and Come, my dark-eyed one; Mohammed Fairouz’s Anything Can Happen; and in 2018, Pulitzer Prize®-winner Caroline Shaw’s Seven Joys.


Musician, minister, and social activist Larry Hill founded the Back Bay Chorale in 1973 at Boston’s Church of the Covenant to create a musical ministry that would bring meaning to both singers and their audience. In the years since Hill’s death in 1989, the Chorale has continued to grow in stature and is now regarded as one of Boston’s premier choruses. Under music directors Larry Hill, Beverly Taylor, Julian Wachner, James Olesen, and, since 2004, Dr. Scott Allen Jarrett, the Chorale has presented numerous concerts and has had the privilege to perform with many of Boston’s finest orchestral players and internationally recognized soloists.

The Chorale performs throughout Boston and Cambridge. Past and current venues include Emmanuel Church, Old South Church, and St. Cecilia Church in Back Bay; Harvard University's Sanders Theatre and St. Paul's Church in Cambridge; Jordan Hall, Faneuil Hall, and Boston University’s Marsh Chapel.

In addition to the annual concert season, Back Bay Chorale serves the local community through our Bridges  program, which delivers choral performances to Boston area residents who woud otherwise be unable to attend a live musical performance.