Lancaster Chorale, currently Ohio's only 32-voice professional choir, was formed in 1985 as a community chorus. Mr. Craig Jaynes was founding director. Mr. Robert Trocchia was appointed Artistic Director/Conductor in 1986 and under his direction, established the Chorale's "pure sound." 

The Chorale became fully professional in 1989, paying all thirty-two vocal musicians.  The Chorale performs three concerts each year of the finest choral literature, in a wide range of styles, idioms and periods. Annual  auditions in August establish the roster. Approximately half of the group reside, or have roots, in Lancaster or Fairfield County. However, many vocal musicians travel from Columbus, Cincinnati, Findlay and Dayton to perform with the Chorale throughout the season.

As part of the mission to bring the highest level of choral art to Lancaster, the Chorale has commissioned new choral works annually by major national and international composers. Several commissions have been published and are now part of the standard choral repertoire.

Composers have included:
Jackson Berkey, co-founder and member of Mannheim Steamroller
(Domine Deus, 1997) 

Stephen Caracciolo
(Songs of Innocence, 1996; Come Unto Me All Ye That Labor, 1997)

Patrick Hawes, United Kingdom
(Te Deum, 2011) 

Kirke Mechem, San Francisco

Dorothy Papadakos, member of the Grammy Award winning Paul Winter Consort, 1994

Robert Page
(Sherman: Forced to War, 1992)

Sheena Phillips, England
(What Child Is This?, 2003; A Christmas Carol, 2006; 
Sweet Honey & Common Bill, 2010)

Tim Sarsany, local composer, winner of Chorale’s composer competition, honoring the memory of Dana Mary McClurg, (There is Sweet Music, 2004)
Jeffrey Van, Minnesota
(A Procession Winding Around Me, 1993)

Recording is a major part of Chorale’s mission, and throughout the history of the organization, eight CDs and a demonstration CD having been produced including:
Lancaster Chorale…Live!
Child of Peace (Christmas) - studio recording
Sing Us To Heaven
Moments to Remember
Sherman: Forced to War
Christmas Echoes (2012)

The Chorale has collaborated with several local, regional and national artists and ensembles on season concerts, and, by special invitation, collaboration with the Lancaster Festival. Regular special guests on Chorale concerts include the Lancaster Fairfield Youth Choir, contributing to the education and outreach of youth within Fairfield County and central Ohio.
Collaborations of special guests have included Ohio’s The Rarely Herd, Yankee Celtic Consort, and Columbus’ jazz greats Dave Powers, Jeannette Williams, Mary McClendon, Michael Cox and Mark Flugge. Columbus Jewish Cantor Rabbi Vicki Axe has also been featured.

In 2004, the Chorale was invited to collaborate with Columbus’ ProMusica Chamber Orchestra in presenting the epic, but rarely performed, fully staged version of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass at the Southern Theater in Columbus, under the baton of Timothy Russell with stage direction by Michael Scarola of New York City Opera. A collaboration at Capital University’s NOW MUSIC Festival in Columbus included a chorale master class with composer-in-residence Eric Whitacre, one of the nations most noted choral composers, and featured the Chorale working with Mr. Whitacre on his composition Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine.

In 2011, a recording of  Perfect Love, by Patrick Hawes, was sent to the composer in England. He was so moved that he contacted the Chorale and proposed he introduce his music to America through the Chorale. This resulted in the World Premiere of  Te Deum, a major work for orchestra and chorus that was co-commissioned by the Lancaster Chorale and Lancaster Festival Orchestra. Mr. Hawes was present for his American debut. The premiere received international attention. The work is now published by Novello, a major European publishing house.

Mr. Robert Trocchia has been the Artistic Director of the Lancaster Chorale since 1986. He is known for his innovative programming, unique collaborations, and the unique “pure sound” of the Chorale, which is the hallmark of his approach to choral art, and which helps the Chorale standout among other national professional choirs. 
Mr. Trocchia’s approach is a major reason many of the brightest composers in the United States and Europe are eager for the Chorale to perform their music.

With an extensive background in academia, Mr. Trocchia served as director of music for the Fairfield Union Schools and director of choral activities for Ohio University-Lancaster. His 49-year career in education was highlighted by being named one of America’s top educators and by being inducted into the Ohio University Gifted Education Hall of Fame.

Mr. Trocchia was a student, then colleague, of Normal Luboff, founder and conductor of the Grammy Award winning Norman Luboff Choir, one of the leading choral groups of the 1950s, 60s and 70s. He also studied with the world’s finest choral musicians, including Michael Korn, Robert Page, Sir David Willcocks and Dale Warland.

Mr. Trocchia has conducted over twenty-five world premier performances by composers such as Robert Page, Patrick Hawes, Kirke Mechem, Jackson Berkey and Jeffrey Van. His chorale recordings of Barber’s Adagio, Martin’s Mass and Howell’s Requiem are frequently heard on National Public Radio. Priding himself in diversity, he has collaborated with nationally recognized Jazz, Gospel, Bluegrass and Celtic artists. He has prepared choirs for Gary Sheldon, artistic director of the Lancaster Festival, as well as for Timothy Russell and Columbus’ ProMusica Chamber Ensemble for the epic, fully staged version of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass

Groups under Mr. Trocchia’s direction have performed at cathedrals and performance venues world-wide, including Notre Dame Cathedral, Cologne Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Lincoln Center for Performing Arts and historic Biltmore Estate. A graduate of Ohio University, member of American Choral Directors Association, past member of both Music Advisory Panel of Ohio Arts Council and National Advisory Board of Creative Arts Workshops, Mr. Trocchia and wife, Carol, live in Bremen, Ohio, and have three grown children, all involved professionally in the arts.