Started in 1987 after the death of noted University of SC choral professor Dr. Árpád A. Darázs, The Árpád Darázs Singers was organized by some of his former students to honor his memory and keep alive his desire "to provide group singing opportunities for everyone who has an interest in choral music and can carry a tune." The choir provides audiences in SC the opportunity to experience international choral music deeply rooted in the Árpád Darázs tradition of excellence. Robert D. Neese, former student of Dr. Darázs, continues as the original conductor of the choir.
The choir consists of 30-35 members from all walks of life - students, homemakers, business professionals, retirees - who have in common the love of music. Membership in the group is by open audition, held twice a year in August and January, or by appointment with the conductor. Based in Columbia, the choir draws members from Richland and Lexington counties, as well as Newberry, Kershaw, Sumter, Fairfield and Orangeburg.
Admission is free to this gift of music although an offering will be taken to help defray expenses of the choir.
The Árpád Darázs Singers is delighted to present its spring program, The Heavens are Telling. The theme is taken from the wonderful Haydn piece of the same name. Some old favorites from the choir’s repertoire include Kodály’s Hymn to King Stephen, Wilby’s If Ye Love Me, and the choir’s signature piece, Arcadelt’s Ave Maria. Several pieces new to the Árpád Darázs Singers include Randall Thompson’s The Light of Stars, Lekberg’s The Love Messengers, and Paul Ayres’ Tis Not Too Later to Seek a Better World, with text taken from Tennyson’s Ulysses. The program also includes the humorous A Place in the Choir by Bill Staines.