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Biography
Our Vision
The Southwestern Master Chorale continues its tradition as one of the premier choruses in America, presenting beautiful, inspirational, expressive and exciting choral music.

Our Core Values
The Southwestern Master Chorale is committed to upholding the following core values:
 
Purpose: Committing to excellence with the goal of advancing the Christian faith through music.
Dedication: Sharing the joy of choral music through our community of dedicated singers, educators and leaders.
Artistic Excellence: Achieving the highest standards in performance and practice through enthusiastic participation in diverse musical styles.
Collaboration: Fostering rewarding partnerships between the seminary, the community, local churches, and artistic/educational organizations.
Integrity: Maintaining a professional level organization that serves as steward of the God-given gifts and talents of its members.

In 1915 the School of Sacred Music at Southwestern Seminary was founded under three governing principles: Spiritual and Evangelistic Fervor, Scholarly and Efficient Musicianship, and Practicality in Application. Beginning in 1921, a group named the Seminary Choral Club was formed under the leadership of I.E. Reynolds. Reynolds began conducting the chorus in annual performances of Handel's Messiah, a tradition which continues uninterrupted to the present.
 
In the early 1950s the choral club was renamed the Southwestern Seminary Oratorio Chorus because of its association with the Messiah performance. The orchestra that accompanied the Chorus in the early days was the Fort Worth Little Symphony Orchestra, the forerunner of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (FWSO) of today.
 
In 1988/89 Dean McKinney and Dr. David Keith made the decision to begin auditioning community singers to augment the choir, enabling the students to perform works of a larger scale. The relationship with the now bigger Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra grew through the 1990s and included numerous concerts sponsored by the FWSO and Southwestern, as well as several joint recordings. The chorus has also been a source of experiential education for student assistants to the Director of the Chorus, a rare opportunity which helps to prepare them for ministry and professional music careers.
 
In 2008, in recognition of the great history of the choir and the change in focus from the singular presentation of Handel's most famous oratorio to a much wider breadth of literature and venues, the chorus was renamed the Southwestern Seminary Master Chorale.

The Master Chorale delivers a minimum of four major choral concerts each year, highlighted by a tradition of performing Handel's Messiah annually since 1921. The Chorale has also performed with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The First Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Civic Orchestra (FWCO), and other fine ensembles. The Chorale has recorded 12 critically acclaimed compact discs and presented two American premieres (Jonathan Willcocks's A Great and Glorious Victory and Alexander Grechaninov's Kvalite Boga) as well as a world premiere of Willcocks's From Darkness to Light. 

In May 2011, the Southwestern Master Chorale, in conjuntion with the Southwestern Singers, premiered two works at the Avery Fisher Hall, part of New York City's famed Lincoln Center. The two works, Peace Ascends and Excursion were composed by Southwestern Seminary's own Dr. Stephen Johnson and Dr. William "Mac" Davis, respectively. As well as the premiere pieces, the chorale also had the honor of performing W.A. Mozart's Requiem in the heart of America's premiere musical cityThe Chorale was under the directon of Dr. David Thye from 2007-2016.  Dr. Mark A. Taylor directed the Chorale from 2016 to 2019, when Dr. Ian Yeung Became The Chorale's director.

Dr. Ian Yeung:

Dr. Ian Yeung, a church musician since the age of 16, has been a choir director and church musician for over twenty years.  He received his master’s and doctoral degrees (MM, DMA) in choral conducting at the University of North Texas, where he held teaching fellowships in undergraduate conducting, and directed the men’s chorus.  He studied under Jerry McCoy and Henry Gibbons, and also studied orchestral conducting with Anshel Brusilow.  Dr. Yeung also holds a master’s degree in music ministry from Southwestern Baptist Seminary, where he is pursuing his second doctorate--a Ph.D--in Aesthetics and Christian Worship.

 

Dr. Yeung is an Associate Professor of music at Tarrant County College, and is the Artistic Director of The Dallas Chinese Choral Society.  He is also the Artistic Director of Singing Girls of Texasat the Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts.  In 2015, this prestigious, auditioned choir was chosen to perform at the American Choral Director’s Association conference in Salt Lake City.  He has also held faculty positions at the University of Texas in Dallas, at North Lake College and Vernon College.  Dr. Yeung is the founding director ofThe Vox Decorus Children’s Choirof Coppell, and in 2008, founded The Vernon Choral Society, comprised of students, college faculty and local professional musicians.

 

Dr. Yeung has been honored as a conducting fellow in The Dennis Keene Festival,and has studied and conducted under Helmuth Rilling at The Oregon Bach Festival.  An early music advocate, Dr. Yeung regularly performs as a basso continuo organist and harpsichordist.

 

Dr. Yeung has served, and continues to serve, as a church organist, pianist and worship leader in Chinese churches in Hong Kong and Texas.  Since 2016, he has served as an advisory board member for The Center of Christian Music Studiesat Baylor University, and is actively involved in academic research, publishing and Christian translation projects.

 

Dr. Yeung met his wife Michelle while in college at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  They live in Dallas, TX, with two lovely cats: Mango and Milo.

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