Karen Kenaston-French, Artistic Director + Conductor
The mission of the Fort Worth Chorale is to excite, engage, and inspire diverse audiences; to change lives through the artistry of singing.
About the choir
Founded in 1962 as Schola Cantorum, Fort Worth Chorale is the oldest independently operated, auditioned, volunteer, adult civic choir in Texas. In its storied 60-year history, the Fort Worth Chorale has presented hundreds of concerts in North Texas and cities across the United States and Europe. The choir has performed at the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C., Robert Shaw’s Festival of the Masses in San Francisco, the Worms, Germany Martin Luther Festival, with the London Symphony Orchestra, and has been featured on the programs of the Texas Choral Directors Association numerous times throughout its 60-year history. Singers come from a wide variety of professions, with a significant portion employed as choral directors and voice teachers in the metroplex. FWC is vitally connected to the city of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, not only through public concerts, but also through collaborations with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Texas Ballet Theatre, and numerous local schools and universities. In 2021 FWC established the “Schola Cantorum Project,” which commissions composers of underrepresented cultural backgrounds to compose choral music for free distribution in underserved Title One schools. Fort Worth Chorale has been led by only five permanent conductors, each with distinguished national reputations in the choral world: B. R. “Bev” Henson, founder (1962-1973), Gary Ebensberger (1975-2000), Donald Bailey (2001-2007), Jerry McCoy (2008-2019), and Karen Kenaston-French (2019-present). For more information about the history of the Chorale, please visit our history page.
The Chorale traditionally offers three to four themed concerts per season at various locations throughout Fort Worth and the metropolitan area.