2023-24 Season

The 2023-24 season represents a momentous occasion for the Arizona Repertory Singers: our 40th anniversary.

Founded in 1984, our ensemble has remained “Uniquely Tucson,” a description held dear to our hearts. For 40 years, our choir has delighted audiences in our beautiful desert oasis with our signature choral performances of varied repertoire, instrumentation, and styles. In selecting our concert venues, we offer multiple concert dates with varied locations so that everyone in the Tucson area may find a performance location close to home.

This year promises exciting opportunities for the Arizona Repertory Singers as we impress upon our listeners what “Our Choral Legacy” is built upon. Our legacy not only includes our collaborations with other ensembles (in recent years we performed alongside the University of Arizona and the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus), but also the repertoire that we choose to perform. Every performance this season showcases music from our vast library. A small committee of long-term singers helped to select pieces that are “uniquely ARS.”

For our holiday concert,What Sweeter Music: 40 Years with ARS,” choral favorites such as Morten Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium and John Rutter’s What Sweeter Music were performed alongside Steven Landau’s engaging composition Hark! in 7/8 and an audience favorite two years in a row, Brightest and Best by Shawn Kirchner.

This spring, we break tradition with only one performance at the end of April: a gala concert event, “All the Beauty.” This anniversary gala will feature a newly commissioned piece by a prominent composer, a raffle, and a party of hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and mocktails to celebrate the Arizona Repertory Singers achievement of bringing quality choral music to Tucson for 40 years. This performance will take place on April 28 in the beautiful auditorium at Catalina Foothills High School. Through this performance, we broaden our theme of “Celebrating Our Choral Legacy” to include the legacy of all choral music in Tucson, especially to those that raise young voices in song.

We will honor both Dr. Julian Ackerley and Dr. Marcela Molina, directors of the Tucson Boys Chorus and Tucson Girls Chorus, for their work in nurturing thousands of young singers and instilling a love of music in our community’s youth. Our Music Director, Ryan Phillips, holds this dear to his heart as an alum of the Tucson Boys Chorus. He credits Dr. Ackerley’s direction in allowing him to pursue music as his life’s passion and grow into the role as the Arizona Repertory Singer’s music director.

2022-23 Season

Our 39th season promises engaging repertoire for both our Winter and Spring performances. Our December concerts, Women in Winter, will be a first for ARS—a performance built entirely of repertoire by women composers. The variety of styles and perspectives related to the season, including Snow Angel by Sarah Quartel, an 18-minute, five-movement work featuring piano, cello, and djembe accompaniment, will provide an enriching holiday musical experience.

We are excited to perform in two new venues, each with personal connections to ARS. The first is St. Mark Catholic Church in Oro Valley—a gorgeous building with wonderful acoustics that can host our growing audience. We know our sound will be elevated in this stunning space that is the home church to one of our singers. The second venue is Desert Skies United Methodist Church where Ryan Phillips, ARS’ Music Director, serves as Music Director and where two of our singers attend. We look forward to bringing the ARS experience to brand new audiences in this large sanctuary.

Our Spring repertoire is inspired by the joys and wonders of children and holds a warm place in our hearts—in March, our Music Director and his wife welcomed twins into their family. This performance will feature foreign language pieces, including Bo na Leathadhairce by Desmond Earley, which uses a tune learned by Irish children in school, Hela Rotan, an arrangement of an Indonesian folk song by Ken Stevens about the game of tug-of-war, and Kidsong by Stephen Caldwell, which brings together multiple children’s songs into one cohesive piece. 

2021-22 Season

Please join us as we proudly celebrate our 2021-22 season under the continuing musical leadership of Music Director Ryan Phillips. ARS has been hailed by audiences throughout Southern Arizona for its choral blend, technical precision and vocal artistry. A hallmark of the ARS tradition is our commitment to presenting high quality performances of the best new choral music as well as standard repertoire – from the Renaissance to well-known choral masterpieces, Americana and jazz, contemporary pieces and works commissioned by the group.

We share the belief that there is nothing more transformative than the human voice lifted in song.

Although ARS specializes in unaccompanied a cappella choral music, many of our concerts also include larger works with orchestra and soloists, or instrumental accompaniment such as piano, harp, organ, strings, woodwinds, and percussion.

Our 38th season promises to be a wonderful mix of holiday music from around the world for our December concerts, featuring text in several different languages and composers of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. “Even if you don’t understand all the languages, music is our common language. These songs embody a feeling of serenity and celebration that is perfect for this time of year,” according to Music Director Ryan Phillips.

“The Spring 2022 concerts will feature repertoire that emphasizes the importance of preserving our planet by slowing the effects of climate change – which affects not only all of us, but Nature and animals as well,” Phillips says. ARS will highlight this issue for our listeners with music that includes Emerald Stream by Seth Houston and Estonian composer Uno Naissoo’s Metsa Telegramm. Phillips hopes “you will enjoy our performance of music with thought-provoking selections that encourage action.”