Arts District Chorale sets Valentine’s weekend rhythm

The Arts District Chorale performed a Valentine’s show in SMU’s own Meadows Taubman Atrium Thursday.
(Courtesy of Constantina Tsolainoy)


High notes pierced the air and resonated with beautiful vibrato throughout the Taubman Atrium Thursday night. The audience was speechless. In awe of Chorale soprano Anna Popova’s talent, the atrium grew silent in anticipation of her next note. Once again her voice rang out with clarity and finesse, perfectly reaching even the highest notes. The audience burst into applause as she smiled proudly.

The Arts District Chorale performed a variety of love songs in their Valentine’s Day concert. The concert, held in the Taubman Atrium, included a variety of music, spanning a classical repertoire to favorites like “My Funny Valentine.” Throughout the concert, it was clear that each of the Chorale’s singers loved performing. Tom Morgan, Chorale tenor, has been with the Arts District Chorale for 12 years.

“I love the exhilaration and emotional high from singing,” Morgan said.

According to Chorale President Dennis Harrison, the Chorale is very unique. Unlike a symphony choir with 200 voices, the Arts District Chorale has approximately 60 members. There are both amateur and professional singers, and for any given concert, only 40-50 singers will actually perform. Concerts are also planned with special surprises. Each guest received a goody bag filled with Chocolate Secret’s truffles and iced cookies Thursday. The concerts are all themed and the Chorale hosts four annual concerts.

“We try to do music so that it’s more an event than a concert. We want to pull the audience in,” Harrison said.

Thursday night was no exception. Although the venue was small, Chorale conductor Constantina Tsolainou chose the venue to develop an emotional connection with the audience and further enhance their Valentine’s Day experience.

The Arts District Chorale was founded in 1989 as The Cathedral Chorale at Cathedral Guadalupe in the Arts District. During its first years, the Chorale helped re-establish the historic cathedral’s place in the community as a center for fostering culture. In 2001, The Cathedral Chorale became the Arts District Chorale and received its non-profit status.

According to their website, the Chorale is working to change its relationship with the Dallas community and has partnered with St. Paul United Methodist Church, DISD and Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts to bring art to disadvantaged children in South Dallas. These children will participate in an apprentice program this summer at Booker T. Washington. The program aims to foster a love of music through music lessons and planned field trips to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

The Arts District Chorale’s next concert will be held April 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Cathedral Guadalupe. The concert, entitled “Surround Sound: 360 degrees of Music” will feature brass organs. Tickets can be purchased online at

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