AMARILLO MASTER CHORALE

 Amarillo Master Chorale is a select adult ensemble that performs outstanding choral music in the Amarillo community. It enriches the lives of its performers and audiences by bringing together individuals of diverse backgrounds and interests to share in the preparation and enjoyment of artistically excellent concerts. It seeks to inspire people of all ages to engage continually with beauty, harmony, and excellence through the performing arts and it advocates specifically for quality choral music through its concert series and collaborations with other arts organizations. Amarillo Master Chorale is proud to be a community partner with Amarillo College.

Our History

Amarillo Master Chorale, formerly known as Amarillo Civic Chorus, is an auditioned community choir directly affiliated with Amarillo College that specializes in the performance of major classical and modern choral works, both accompanied and unaccompanied, usually with at least one annual performance with the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music Amarillo, or another arts group in the Texas Panhandle.  Members are from Amarillo and the greater Texas Panhandle area, including Canyon, Pampa, and Borger, TX.   They represent professional musicians, medical professionals, teachers, business retailers, and other community professionals.   They began performing in 1980 under the direction of Dr. George Biffle, and four years later, they acquired non-profit status with elected board members and by-laws.   Civic Chorus became affiliated with Amarillo College in 1985 with the assistance of music chair Dr. Dale Roller.   The chorus was conducted by Dr. Richard Nance from 1985-1992 and was under the leadership of Dr. Steven Weber from 1992 through the Spring of 2016.  We are excited to welcome Nathaniel Fryml as Artistic Director in the fall of 2016.   The new name of Amarillo Master Chorale was established in the fall of 2009 to reflect the chorus' high artistic level of performance.    They have been nominated for a "Golden Touch" award by the Amarillo Arts Council for their first performance as Amarillo Master Chorale entitled "Jubilate" which took place at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in November 2009.

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Nathaniel Fryml, Music and Artistic Director

Email Dr. Fryml

Nathaniel Fryml is the Director of Choral Activities at Amarillo College and Artistic Director of the Amarillo Master Chorale.  Born in Montreal, Quebec, of Czech and Dutch descent, Dr. Fryml was raised and educated in the United States, the first of his family to pursue a professional career in music.  He recently completed his terminal degree in choral music at the University of Southern California, with dissertation research focused on cantatas by Antonn Dvork. 

Prior to moving to Amarillo, Dr. Fryml served as assistant conductor of the Angeles Chorale and the Los Angeles Zimriyah Chorale.  His doctoral studies in music theory at USC were focused primarily on the Schenkerian method of analysis.  A published composer, Dr. Fryml enjoys writing both vocal and instrumental music and has had the privilege of studying with Morten Lauridsen and Mark Kilstofte. 

Holding degrees from Furman University (BM, Piano Performance and Music Theory) and the Cleveland Institute of Music (MM, Piano Performance), Dr. Fryml actively performs as a keyboard soloist and chamber musician.  He has taught piano both in private studio as well as in pre-college programs at Furman University and Presbyterian College and has worked as an accompanist at various institutions, including Clemson University, Presbyterian College, and Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Passionate about music ministry, Dr. Fryml has also served as a church music director, band leader, and keyboardist.  He and his wife Joanne are loving every moment of their daily adventure trying to keep up with their sons, Isaac,  Theodore and Joseph, and they feel very privileged to have joined the thriving arts community of Amarillo.

 

Preston HittPreston Hitt, Assistant Conductor

 

Preston Hitt is excited to be the Assistant Conductor of the Amarillo Master Chorale. Preston moved to Texas in 2016 from St. Louis, Missouri, where he was a sought-after vocalist performing with numerous ensembles including the St. Louis Symphony Chorus and the Bach Society of St. Louis. Since moving to Texas, Preston has taught choir for 5 years at Tascosa High School and San Jacinto Christian Academy. Preston holds a Bachelors degree from Missouri Baptist University (Piano and Voice) as well as Masters degrees from Webster University (Choral Conducting) and West Texas A&M University (Teaching).

Preston is an accomplished vocalist, pianist, and conductor. He has performed as a soloist with the Bach Society of St. Louis, Missouri Baptist University, Webster University, and the Perryton Choral Society. Preston is also a founding member of the High Plains Choral Society here in Amarillo. As a pianist, Preston has been an accompanist throughout Amarillo playing for solo and ensemble students as well as the First Baptist Church of Amarillo Youth Choir. While at Missouri Baptist University, Preston won the Connie Powell Sacred Music Award for piano as well as received the opportunity to perform the Mozart k. 488 Piano Concerto. As a conductor, Preston has vast knowledge and experience with both choir and orchestra. He has conducted selections of Handels Messiah with the Missouri Baptist University Choir and Orchestra. As part of the culmination of his Masters degree at Webster, Preston conducted Ralph Vaughan Williams Toward the Unknown Region with the Christ Church Cathedral choir.

Preston also has a heart for ministry being heavily involved in the music ministry at First Baptist Church of Amarillo singing in the Sanctuary Choir and accompanying the Youth Choir. Preston loves Amarillo and considers it an honor and a privilege to continue serving the thriving arts community of Amarillo.

 

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Dr. Jim Rauscher, Accompanist

Professor Jim Rauscher retired in 2016 as a member of the music faculty at Amarillo College, where he taught piano for 35 years, and also served as chairman of the Music Department from 1988 to 2013.  He has been extremely active in the Texas Panhandle as a solo recitalist, accompanist, teacher, and adjudicator.  Principal keyboardist for the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra since 1981, he has also been a frequent guest soloist with the orchestra, performing such works as Beethovens Choral Fantasy, Gershwins Rhapsody in Blue, Saint-Saens Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Mendelssohns Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, and in Liszt/Busonis Rhapsodie Espagnol for Piano and Orchestra. He has also appeared as soloist with the West Texas State University Band, the Texas Tech University Orchestra, the Texas Tech University Symphonic Band, and the Amarillo Virtuosi of Chamber Music Amarillo. Dr. Rauscher showed an early affinity for music, beginning piano studies at the age of six in his hometown of Medford, Wisconsin.  He also studied the trumpet, entering college as a trumpet major.  He performed extensively on both the trumpet and the piano, receiving a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1979 with majors in both instruments.  A Master of Music in Piano Performance and Literature degree followed in 1981 from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, and he received the Ph. D. in Fine Arts degree in 1991 from Texas Tech University, with emphasis in piano performance. He and his wife, Vanessa, recently retired as the Directors of Music and Liturgy at St. Mary's Catholic Cathedral in Amarillo, where he was the principal organist/pianist.

AMC Board Members 2023-2024

President
Sean Milligan

President-Elect
Lee Kendle

Secretary
Lisa Yang

Treasurer
Jeff Brain

Members at Large
Trevor Brown
Lacee Dietz
Edith DiTommaso
Craig Gladman
Amy Hansen
Michele Johnson

Artistic Director
Nathaniel Fryml

Ex-Officio/AC Representative
Tiffany McDaniel