About Choral Arts Cleveland

In 1975, the joy of singing and friendship brought together a small group of men and women which has grown to become Choral Arts Cleveland, a non-profit community chorus of dedicated singers. Members of CAC are drawn from throughout the Greater Cleveland area from all walks of life, diverse cultural backgrounds, a broad age range, and include talented voices with varying degrees of musical training.

Choral Arts Cleveland is committed to excellence and to performance of choral masterworks of all styles and periods from folk songs and spirituals, to shorter choral masterpieces by composers such as Copland, Brahms, and Rutter, to full-scale works such as Orff’s Carmina Burana, Haydn’s Creation, the Brahms Requiem and other Masses. Choral Arts has premiered such works as Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio (Ohio premiere), and works by contemporary British composers, William Godfree and Antony Pitts. In 2023 CAC performed the first complete rendition of George Bristow’s 1855 Mass in C.

History of Choral Arts Cleveland

In the fall of 1974, a small group of enthusiastic women and men, many of whom were
alumni or parents of the Cleveland Heights High School A Cappella Choir singers,
joined together to found an independent community chorus. Over the ensuing years,
Choral Arts Cleveland (CAC) has expanded to include voices from all walks of life,
diverse cultural backgrounds, and a broad range of ages. We have had the good
fortune to grow and progress under the leadership of excellent directors including the
founding director, Edward Battaglia, II, Betsey Burleigh, and Martin Kessler. The current
Artistic Director, Peter Wright, is an active vocal performer, teacher, and conductor in
Northeast Ohio.

CAC’s expansive repertoire ranges from Gregorian Chant, to contemporary classical
and from traditional folk music, to arrangements of popular styles. CAC routinely
performs significant large-scale works including Requiems by Mozart, Brahms and
Faure, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Bloch’s Sacred Service, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy,
Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Haydn’s Creation. The chorus has had the privilege of
premiering works such as Christmas music by one of its own directors, Martin Kessler
(world premiere as a collection), George Bristow’s Mass in C (world premiere), and
Anthony Pitts’ Jerusalem/Yerushalayim (North American premiere).

CAC enjoys frequent collaborations with other local groups including church choirs, the
Suburban Symphony, the Gospel Choir of Lutheran High School East, Western Reserve
Chorale, and the Verb Ballets.

Under Peter Wright’s leadership, the members of Choral Arts Cleveland look forward to
many years of personal growth and fulfillment through music, and to continuing to
contribute to Cleveland’s proud tradition of community musical performance.

Peter Wright, Artistic Director, Choral Arts Cleveland

Peter Wright is a conductor and singer in the Northeast Ohio area. He has been the music director for Church of Our Savior Episcopal and an assistant conductor of Cleveland Chamber Choir. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati and the University of Akron, Mr. Wright also has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, Cleveland Chamber Choir, Quire Cleveland, Cleveland Opera Theatre, and Alchemy Baroque. In addition to performing and conducting, Mr. Wright maintains a private studio where he teaches singing in a wide range of styles. A trained Latinist, Mr. Wright specializes in Latin dialect for choral singing and professionally translates choral Latin text.

Joanne Poderis, Accompanist

Mrs. Joanne Poderis has been the accompanist for Choral Arts Society since 2002. She also is one of the founding members of the Western Reserve Chorale, has served as its Executive Director since 1998 and as accompanist since its inception in 1992. Joanne has been the Organist at the First Church of Christ Scientist in Chagrin Falls since 2001. She also is the accompanist for the music programs at University School, St. Ignatius High School, Cuyahoga Heights High School and St. Paschal Baylon School.