Roger Wagner Chorale
- David P. DeVenney
Chorus. Founded in Los Angeles in 1946 and originally named the Los Angeles Concert Chorale, the choir was soon renamed after its eponymous founder, Roger Wagner. Wagner (1914–92) immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1921 from France. From an early age until late in life he was an active church musician. Among his many music positions, Wagner was supervisor of youth choruses for the City of Los Angeles (beginning in 1945) and it was from a festival chorus that the first incarnation of the Chorale was formed. Particularly interested in Renaissance music, Wagner made that literature a highlight of the ensemble’s repertory, but he also included much contemporary music, as well as lighter compositions like folk songs and spirituals. The Chorale was one of the first professional choral ensembles in the United States and both the choir and its director have been highly influential in American choral music. Roger Wagner was one of the founding members of the Association of Professional Vocal Ensembles, now known as Chorus America....