Milwaukee Chamber Choir was founded by J. Mark Baker in the autumn of 2013 – to sing a concert celebrating the 100th birthday of Benjamin Britten. Since then, MCC has continued to present two concerts per season. The Choir is comprised of 18–20 professional-level singers, all of whom volunteer their time and talents to the ensemble.
The choir’s mission is to perform standard choral classics, from the Renaissance through to the 21st century. In a very short time, the choir has amassed a repertoire that includes works by J.S. Bach, Benjamin Britten, Johannes Brahms, Gerald Finzi, Orlando Gibbons, Hans Leo Hassler, Herbert Howells, Morten Lauridsen, Henry Purcell, William Mathias, Thomas Morley, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Eric Whitacre, among others.
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J. Mark Baker is the founding director of the Milwaukee Chamber Choir. An experienced choral conductor, singer, and music educator, he holds a doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As a professional member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Dr. Baker sang under the direction of today’s leading conductors and was a recipient of the CSC’s Margaret Hillis Foundation scholarship for continuing vocal studies. He has sung in Europe, in Canada, and at Carnegie Hall. A church musician for over 30 years, he has served congregations in four states.
From 2006–2014, Dr. Baker was on the voice faculty of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. He has been heard in the Milwaukee area as the baritone soloist in performances of Bach’s Cantata No. 140, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Mozart’s Solemn Vespers, Fauré’s Requiem, and Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on Christmas Carols, among others. As a music editor, he has prepared a five-volume Anthology of Italian Opera, a four-volume set of Mozart opera arias, and the collected songs of Maurice Ravel as well as choral music by Debussy, Ravel, Duruflé, Poulenc, and Respighi.
A native of Alabama, Dr. Baker holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Montevallo and a Master of Music degree from Illinois State University.