Santa Fe Desert Chorale

Mailing Address: 311 East Palace Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87501
County of Location: Santa Fe
Phone: (505) 988-2282
NTEE Code: A- Arts, Culture and Humanities
Mission Statement:

The Santa Fe Desert Chorale is a professional chamber choir that enriches the cultural life of the residents of New Mexico and enhances the experience of national and international visitors to Santa Fe by presenting performances that represent the highest artistic standard.

Primary Programs:

2012 marks the 30th anniversary of the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, one of the premier professional chamber choirs in the United States. Each summer, and again during the December holiday season, some of the finest singers from around the country come to Santa Fe to perform works from the rich choral tradition. Our audience consists of a mix of New Mexico residents as well as national and international visitors. Each year we present to nearly 10,000 adults and children – 70 percent of which are New Mexicans.  

This year the Desert Chorale was contracted for performances with the Santa Fe Opera - in their production of King Roger, and the Dallas Symphony - for their production of J.S. Bach’s St Matthew Passion.   In 2013 the Desert Chorale will perform on four concerts of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.  The Desert Chorale mainly performs a cappella (without accompaniment) and is renowned for its rich sound, seamless blend and wide-ranging programming, having performed more than 2000 compositions by some 500 composers, spanning nine centuries of music.

Founder Lawrence Bandfield (1933-2009) conducted the first season in 1983 and continued as Music Director until 1998. The values that he established sustain the Desert Chorale today: diverse repertory performed by top quality, professional musicians; an intimate rapport with audience members and donors; and strong relationships with the community of northern New Mexico – as evidenced by regular performances outside Santa Fe; tours of historic churches; and collaborations with Santa Fe New Music, Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe Symphony and others. 

Populations Served: All Populations
Counties Served: Statewide
Year Founded:


Annual Budget: $500,000 - $749,999
Personnel: 1 to 5 FTE
Accepts inquiries: Accepts inquiries about volunteering, Accepts inquiries about board member positions
Nonprofit Status: Has 501(c)(3) nonprofit status from the IRS, Is registered as a Nonprofit Corporation with the State of New Mexico

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