The Miami Collegium Musicum is Miami’s community chamber choir. As the chorus of the Miami Bach Society the ensemble has given highly acclaimed performances of many Baroque masterpieces, including the Bach B Minor Mass, St. John, St. Matthew, and St. Mark Passions, the Christmas Oratorio, motets, and numerous cantatas; Handel oratorios and anthems; music of Heinrich Schütz, Henry Purcell, and Antonio Vivaldi; and modern world premieres of the Pergolesi Mass in D, the Lorenziti Mass (in collaboration with the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles), and the Pange Lingua of Michel Richard de Lalande. Collegium has also sung with the Mainly Mozart Festival, the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Naples Philharmonic, and it has toured in England, France, Germany, and Italy. In 1987 the group sang at the mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II in Miami.
The Collegium’s 24 to 30 singers are of different backgrounds and of all ages–some members are students, some are faculty,some are in careers (teachers, medical people, bankers, attorneys), and some are retired. All make a commitment to learn music outside of regular Monday evening rehearsals, so that rehearsals focus on musicality and performance considerations. Auditions for membership can be arranged by emailing [email protected].
Founded in 1977 by Dr. Donald Oglesby, the Collegium became well known for its annual Madrigal Dinners during the Christmas season; these grew to become the Holiday Dinners of the Frost School of Music’s Choral Program. Its acclaimed “Italian Baroque Christmas” in December, 2013, was sponsored by the Italian Consulate. In 2014 a French Baroque Christmas concert, sponsored by the French Consulate, Collegium was joined by the Ft. Lauderdale Singing Sons.
In 2013 the Collegium sang four performances of Choral Music of the Civil War. In 2015 it presented a Lincoln Tribute concert in Miami and, marking the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination, at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., which was the Lincoln family’s church, and the Cosmos Club.
Since then Collegium has added repertoire from more contemporary composers, including locals Rachel Currea and David Pegel. Dr. Pegel was commissioned to write “That Music Always Round Me” based on words of Walt Whitman, and “Lincoln: The Walls of his Monument” based on Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address and Second Inauguration Speech for Collegium.
In 2023 we sang Bach’s Mass in B Minor to cap off the year.