A Premier Master Chorale in the Desert Southwest
2019-2020 Full Choir Picture

Our Mission is to…

Build One Voice in the Greater Phoenix Area that Engages, Enriches and Inspires a growing community of new and seasoned lovers of classic musical arts through demonstrated artistry in choral performance and the unrelenting pursuit of excellence.

  • We engage with focused passion
  • We enrich with uncompromising commitment
  • We inspire with demonstrated excellence

Our Vision is to…

  • Reveal the mysteries of the best choral music of all time for the modern audience in live performance
  • Delight, move, and challenge our audiences, giving them a deep sense of fulfillment through engaging their hearts with expressed meaning and revealed beauty
  • Represent the greater Phoenix area with excellence demonstrated in performances world-wide
  • Absorb lessons from the artistry of the best choral minds from around to world to create a strikingly unique voice in the Greater Phoenix Area
  • Collaborate with arts organizations in the Greater Phoenix Area to produce unique and surprising performances and exhibitions
  • Establish a pivotal community that fosters and ingrains choral music in the mosaic of our multifaceted cultures
  • Reward generosity through producing fulfilling, tangible and verifiable results for financial commitments and individual efforts
  • Unlock the artistic potential and vision in talented people of all ages
  • Foster both accomplished and aspiring musicians and spur them into creative, generative action

Our Values…

  • Are rooted in our kaleidoscope of heritages in the Desert Southwest
  • Are united in the ideal that choral music is a cherished legacy and fully relevant today to the development and enrichment of the cultural life of our immediate and extended communities
  • Demonstrate that the choral arts apply to members of every age group and every cultural heritage
  • Believe in the uniting power of choral music through focused attention, creative curation and thoughtful education that strives to maximize artistic value, relevant meaning and passionate performance resulting in transformative experiences

The following “Arts in the Desert Southwest” article by one of our board members captures the heart of what we value and the context in which these values are nourished and applied. We hope that your hearts resonate with the same conclusion: “Now this is Life!”.

Interested in Joining?

Arts in the Desert Southwest

Papago Buttes

The Arizona Cantilena Chorale and our communities have a proud heritage. We live in the Desert Southwest, one of the most dramatic and contrasting landscapes in the world. The rugged mountains give way to arid desert crisscrossed with dramatically carved washes, gullies and canyons. It does not apologize for its abrupt changes and rugged individualism and radical contrasts. It is not the controlled, pastoral, languid and serene landscape of rural England. But, the interesting thing is, a single delicate bloom that is highlighted in its isolation displays more beauty in its rarity than a whole field of blooms elsewhere. As you pass through the austere and inaccessible searing heat of the desert mountains, your path is punctuated with the stark relief of breathtakingly beautiful lush pockets of refreshing green and shady landscapes with dancing waters and sparkling color that seem to laugh at the foreboding surroundings. Then your path breaks out into the astonishing broadness of expansive vistas that take your breath away. As evening approaches, the desert recesses into deep purples and layered horizons, giving one last hurrah as it yields its brilliant blue sky to a rich and powerful sunset as if to say, “Now this is life!”. Then it settles into a mysterious calm that is punctuated by the occasional call of a coyote in the distance.

The Members of the Arizona Cantilena Chorale and our communities are people that, like our desert surroundings, have experienced the austere and the rugged, and we have been shaped by the challenging contrasts of life around us. We can leverage the lessons of our Desert Southwest and not shy away from the challenges, but instead, celebrate the foreboding austerity by dwelling on the uniquely stirring delicateness of each and every precious moment that arises in stark contrast. We don’t need to conform to the pastoral and controlled expression of centuries of tradition, and we don’t need to pine in the starkness of the artistic desert of the Phoenix area. The Arizona Cantilena Chorale, and our vibrant community of contrasting cultures that surround us, can experience the euphoria of ending our day in a brilliant sunset of well-crafted song and say, “Now this is life!”. You can bet that those that traverse our bleak cultural landscape will find our pocket of exquisite expression of beautifully contrasting artistry. They will discover and experience the broad horizons of enveloping sound, experiencing the same delight as those who encounter pockets of refreshing, shady green and the vast vistas, seemingly hidden in our Desert Southwest. Let’s build a powerfully contrasting voice that truly embraces the starkness of our heritage with powerful optimism and the tuned sensitivity of cultivated joy. This is the heart and passion of the Arizona Cantilena Chorale!

Arizona Cantilena Chorale Executive Board

Engaging, Enriching and Inspiring through Choral Excellence


Arizona Cantilena Chorale was established by Dr. Glenn Bennett in the late summer of 2005 by bringing together the vocal talents of students and friends from past and current performing groups who have demonstrated both a passion and a talent for developing superior musical results in an increasingly visible fashion, and who understand and value the teamwork that it takes to create a homogeneous vocal blend. This seminal group of seasoned musicians has continued to grow in number and artistic excellence.

Arizona Cantilena Chorale’s repertoire ranges from classical to contemporary choral works. They have collaborated with other local arts organizations, such as symphony orchestras and other choral institutions. This enabled them to produce exciting and surprising results through performing major works, such as Handel’s “Messiah”,the “Messa di Gloria” by Puccini, and supporting touring arts organizations, such as the “Video Games Live” extravaganza and productions of Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors”.

Through these efforts, Arizona Cantilena Chorale has established a growing following in the Valley of the Sun and made substantial contributions to the choral arts in the Greater Phoenix Area.

In the Fall of 2018, the Arizona Cantilena Chorale embarked on a journey to accelerate artistic growth, increase visibility and relevance to the Greater Phoenix Area through engaging a new artistic director with nationwide and worldwide choral arts reputation, Dr. Dave Thye. We have also refocused our Mission, Vision and Values. Our goal is to not only perform, but to inspire our audiences and community artists and musicians through a conscious engagement of a broader range of our community in a more personal and meaningful way.