Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra

Reviewed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation

$87,560 raised by 64 donors

100% complete

$80,000 Goal

Previously known as the Sacramento Symphony Chorus, which performed occasionally with the Sacramento Symphony, the Sacramento Choral Society was founded in 1996 as a California education nonprofit 501(c)(3).  The name was changed in 1997 to the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra in recognition of the choral and orchestral repertoire, although the group uses both names.  The group has grown from 100 singers in the Sacramento Symphony Chorus to as many as 180 singers in the SCSO, through careful recruitment and auditioning.  The chorus is also becoming younger, which is a tribute to the relevance and importance of singing in choirs, in an era of decreased focus on the arts in public schools.  Our website attracts singers new to the community, and we sometimes get audition requests in the first weeks after an individual's move to Sacramento.  Through our resilience, we have managed successfully to return to live performances once again.

The SCSO consists of a 150-voice chorus with a full professional symphony orchestra.  Since its founding by Music Director Donald Kendrick, the SCSO has grown to become one of the largest symphonic choruses in the United States. Members of this professional caliber chorus live in seven different Northern California counties.  The chorus has formed a unique arts partnership with its professional symphony orchestra.  According to Chorus America in Washington, DC, of the 12,000 community choruses in the United States, the SCSO is the only one to have a Collective Bargaining Agreement with its own 55-member professional symphony orchestra.

The SCSO, its management, and its conductor have won many local and national awards.  The SCSO is committed to enhancing the quality of life in the Northern California community.  We aim to secure a lasting foundation as a cultural nonprofit and achieve strong financial stability.  It is a delicate balancing act for our Music Director to choose musical literature that provides artistic variety and value, that is challenging and appreciated by the chorus members, and that is appealing to the ticket-purchasing public.  In addition, the challenge of securing appropriate venues and dates, and the cost of the professional orchestra and venue rental are major expenses that exposes the organization to substantial risk.  We are grateful to the hundreds of people in the community who support us year after year.


The mission of the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra is to provide world-class choral orchestral music for the people of the Greater Sacramento Region and beyond.


Help the SCSO continue their live performances and enhance our outreach and education efforts.

We worked very hard to pay fixed monthly operational costs during the lengthy pandemic.

Offset production expenses to maintain reasonably priced tickets for families.

Pay for bus transportation so that school children can attend outreach activities.

Provide complimentary tickets for Veterans, Make-A-Wish Foundation, WEAVE, Big Brothers/Sister, and about 40 other area nonprofits.

Provide Scholarships for Singers in need.

New Board Members. Put your Leadership skills to work with an accountable arts nonprofit with a proven track record.

Equity Statement

The Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra has a strong tradition of inclusion and diversity in its 205-member team of chorus and orchestra members. The organization engages three generations from all walks of life, social and economic strata, hailing from seven different Sacramento area counties with varying demographics. People of all races, ethnicities, religions and sexual orientation are welcome in SCSO and are represented in our membership.

The SCSO seeks to eliminate barriers to participation in the world of classical music by granting scholarships to singers when needed. Our outreach efforts also include working with Title 1 schools for underprivileged youth. In particular, we have provided positive experiences for children with disabilities who don’t often get to attend professional music performances. We also try to promote access by providing free busing to concerts. For example, out of a total of 2,300 attendees, we provided transportation for some 900+ students and teachers to Memorial Auditorium for a special Children’s Matinee in which they were encouraged to engage in an audience sing-a-long.

We annually support over 50 area nonprofits via complimentary tickets to our performances. This gesture reflects our desire to provide access and hope to multiple diverse populations. We are well-known for our faithful outreach to veterans and their families, as well as our strong relationship with Make-A-Wish Foundation which provides an opportunity for children to directly participate by singing and performing with a professional orchestra – even conducting!

For the past 24 years, the SCSO has enjoyed a well-earned reputation for respecting the needs and sensibilities of people from all walks of life and for promoting and offering world-class choral/orchestral music.

The SCSO also takes great pride in its exemplary treatment of our performers, patrons, and volunteers – both on and off stage. Treating people with kindness and respect, as well as helping them to reach their full potential, is entrenched in our organizational values and reinforces accountability. This approach ensures a healthy audition process while fostering a strong sense of belonging. Patrons and performers who feel valued have a desire to return to our performances, to volunteer and assist in helping to further our mission.

Organization Data


Organization name

Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Operating Budget

$500,001-$1 million

Organization Need

Funding: Program, Funding: Unrestricted, Funding: Other, Board Members, Space: Office or Other

Demographics Served

Seniors, Youth & Children, General population

Local Counties Served

El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Yolo

Equity Statement

Equity Statement


4025 Bridge Street Suite A
Fair Oaks, CA 95628

Service areas

Sacramento, CA, US

Davis, CA, US

Folsom, CA, US

Roseville, CA, US

El Dorado Hills, CA, US



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