The mission of the San Antonio Mastersingers is to provide life-enriching experiences through the performances of choral repertoire that engage the audience, challenge the singers, raise funds for worthy charities and provide inspirational, educational and moving musical opportunities for concert goers.
Board of Directors
Chair - Marguerite McCormick
Vice Chair - John Costello
Treasurer - Jeffrey Williams
Secretary - Brian Moffat
Immediate Past Chair - Cindy Marini
Legal Review - Steve Rogers
Music Director - Dr. John Silantien
Chorus Manager - Bill Harrison
The San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers is the official chorus of the San Antonio Symphony, under the direction of Dr. John Silantien. The chorus is the first symphony chorus to be created in Texas, formed in 1944, and the 2019-2020 season marked its 75th anniversary of performance with the Symphony.
The San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers is a highly acclaimed, 140-voice chorus of volunteers from throughout the San Antonio area and is featured in every area of the Symphony's performance schedule as well as several independent performances to benefit various
charitable causes such as local breast cancer research organizations, the Alzheimer's Association, the Memorial Holocaust Museum and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower. Every December, the Mastersingers continues the community's tradition of enjoying Handel's Messiah which is also re-broadcast on KPAC, 88.3 FM, on Christmas Eve.
The Mastersingers have a reputation for meticulous preparation and professionalism that has brought the group frequent invitations for tours and guest appearances nationally and internationally. Through the years, the Mastersingers have performed in Carnegie Hall five times, in the Vatican in Rome, at High Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, at the American Cemetery in Normandy and many other distinguished venues. Guest appearances have included performances with notables Beverly Sills and Andrea Bocelli in starring roles.
In 1994 at the 50th anniversary of the chorus, then San Antonio Mayor Nelson Wolff proclaimed the Mastersingers “one of the crown jewels within the San Antonio Arts community.” Mayor Ron Nirenberg presented the chorus with a congratulatory proclamation in celebration of the 75th anniversary at the 2019-2020 Symphony season opening event, Mahler's Resurrection Symphony No. 2, which also celebrated the grand opening of the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts five years ago.
San Antonio Symphony Mastersingers' conductor Dr. John Silantien begins his 36th year with the chorus in this 2019-2020 season. In May 2018 he retired as Professor Emeritus from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Dr. Silantien has taught and conducted choirs on the secondary and collegiate levels in Texas, in the Washington, D. C. area, and on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Illinois. His awards include a Rockefeller grant for choral conducting at Aspen, Colorado, and a Fulbright award for research in London, England.
Dr. Silantien’s orchestral conducting credits include performances with the San Antonio Symphony, the San Antonio Pops and New York’s West Side Chamber Orchestra, as well as CD recordings of three Mozart piano concertos with the Moscow State Radio Orchestra. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in May 1994 conducting Mozart’s Requiem, returning in 2008 for a performance of Mozart’s Vespers. In May 2016, he conducted the Mastersingers in the Carnegie Hall premiere of Robert Cohen’s Alzheimer’s Stories.
Dr. Silantien has conducted the Mastersingers on international tours to Italy, Spain, Portugal and in 2018 to France where the group performed at the American Cemetery at Normandy Beach, at the Abbey Church at Mont St. Michel, during High Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and at the prestigious Church of La Madeleine. He will lead the chorus on a tour of Scotland, England and Wales in Summer, 2021.