THE MEISTERSINGERS CIVIC CHORUS
The Meistersingers of Mississippi has been a part of the Hattiesburg Concert Association (HCA) since 1996 and was the original artistic project of HCA. It has created lasting memories, both with it's members and the community, through exceptionally entertaining concerts, galas, and musical productions. The Meistersingers personnel have included talented amateur and professional vocalists from throughout the area. This civic chorus has been known for presenting some of the most creative, respected, and well-attended cultural events in the state and region. The Meistersingers of Mississippi continues to be an important part of the annual cultural offerings by HCA.
Over a quarter century ago, a group of local music lovers started a community organization committed to offering the Pine Belt high-quality, independently produced music. They named their new group The Hattiesburg Concert and Civic Chorus Association (HCCCA). Under Founding Artistic Director Paul Lee, HCCCA produced concerts in a variety of musical styles. The name of the group is a tribute to the Hattiesburg High School Choir of the same name, in which Lee and many others sang during their teenage years. Lee, The Meistersingers, and scores of professional musicians gave the city of Hattiesburg many memorable performances, including Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Brahms’ German Requiem, as well as the holiday extravaganzas of Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Magnificat. The group has also taken on the genre of musical theatre, performing concert versions of both Showboat and Phantom of the Opera.
In 2009 FestivalSouth, a multi-week summer arts festival, joined the Meistersingers under the umbrella of the newly titled Hattiesburg Concert Association. Since then, the offerings that the HCA has produced have become more diverse and innovative, expanding their reach into presenting films, visual arts, children’s programing, and dance. While The Meistersingers of Mississippi and FestivalSouth are currently the two main projects of the HCA, the future of this organization looks bright. They continue to push the boundaries of arts entertainment in the community which continue to raise the bar on the level of public performance quality in our area.
Under the guidance of the chorus’ current Artistic Director, Dr. Joel Dunlap, The Meistersingers will continue to expand upon the level of excellence set by it's former conductors. The groups presence is ever growing in the area and their dedication to musical excellence is unmatched. In 2016, they accepted an invitation to perform Dark Night of the Soul and Luminous Night of the Soul by contemporary composer Ola Gjielo in David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, New York and In 2019, they performed works of Dan Forrest in London, England’s Cadogan Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. This coming summer, the group will travel to Ireland and once again, provide audience members with astounding performances of one-of-a-kind music.
The Hattiesburg Concert Association is a leading presenter and advocate of music, arts, and culture in the state of Mississippi. We are committed to presenting outstanding events that entertain, engage, educate, and enrich community members, students, and tourists of all ages, ethnicities, and socio-economic levels. Our projects and programs improve the quality of life for all residents and visitors to South Mississippi, effect positive social and economic development, and contribute to Mississippi’s creative economy. We have served the region since 1996 and are steadfast in our commitment to strengthen the arts community.