Mission and History

The purpose of the San Luis Obispo Vocal Arts is to provide a vehicle for the musical expression of its members through increasing their musical abilities and knowledge of both modern and classical music and to expand their musical experience through the medium of touring and competition. Its aim is to enhance the cultural environment of the county through the presentation of concerts, thereby stimulating public interest and appreciation of fine choral music.

Vocal Arts has been performing locally since 1977 and has toured Canada, South America and Europe, including Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic.  Singers in the ensemble are required to pass a vocal audition to qualify for membership.  Performing members also serve as board members, in addition to community members. Vocal Arts has an Executive Director and a Musical Director, both part time and paid on an Independent Contractor basis, and no does not have an office open to the public.

In 2007 the Board of Directors approved the creation of an International Choral Festival and Competition which proved to be a resounding success. The choral festival was an instant hit in the community and brought in audiences beyond the usual Vocal Arts fans. The festival brought in people of all ages, from Santa Maria to Cambria, and some “choral tourists” from beyond the local area. The festival was presented again in 2009 and 2011.. In response to the current global economic crisis, a "mini-festival" was held in July 2013, with three international choirs in addition to our organization performing at the Mission San Luis Obispo in a non-competitive environment. 

Vocal Arts also sponsors the Central Coast Spring School Choral Festival, held at the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center each year. Between 45-60 school choirs (from elementary to high school) from all over California perform on the main stage of the grand theater, over two days, and received valuable feedback from a panel of adjudicators.

Vocal Arts seeks to deliver the experience of choral music to a wide audience in San Luis Obispo County and beyond our local region through our international touring.

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Vocal Arts Bylaws