Episcopal Chorale Society, Inc. est. 1983
Dr. Chas Cheatham, Artistic Director
Dr. Chas Cheatham ~ Founder and Artistic Director
About Our Director . . .
Dr. Chas Cheatham is the Founder and Artistic Director of the world-renowned Episcopal Chorale Society, Inc. a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.
The son of Dr. & Mrs. J. W. Cheatham, he is a proud native of Los Angeles, California. Dr. Cheatham received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and is a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Zeta Rho Chapter. He also holds a Masters Degree & Doctorate in Music from Emory University. Chas received an honorary Doctorate of Music from City University of the Netherlands. In December 1999, at the General Diocese Convention, Dr. Cheatham was granted Honorary Canon, a title bestowed upon him by the Bishop of the Los Angeles Episcopal Diocese in recognition of his faithful work in support of the church.
For more than 35 years, Dr. Cheatham has served dutifully as director and workshop clinician for children, youth, and adult choirs. He currently serves on Commissions of Liturgy and Church Music and Black Ministries for the Diocese of Los Angeles.
Dr. Cheatham also has served as Clinician and lecturer at Toorak Uniting Church, Australia, Wesley College, Melbourne, Australia, Island Festival, Nassau, Bahamas, Moody Bible College, Chicago, Illinois, Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia, St. Francis Episcopal Church, San Francisco, St. Jude Church, London, England, Episcopal St Peters, Paris, Kentucky, California, Bethel AME, San Francisco, McGee Avenue, Berkley, Riverside United Methodist Church, Macon, Georgia and the International Music Workshop in Vienna, Austria, Montecatini, Italy & Havana, Cuba.
Chas’ vast and varied talents have extended to his work with such legendary artists as Dionne Warwick, Johnny Mathis, Phyllis Dillard, Johnny Carson, Mahalia Jackson, Ned Beatty, Nancy Wilson and Billy Graham, to name only a few. His musical genius is also recognized and appreciated in the sports community. From 1979-1981, he served as music associate for the Cleveland Browns' and the Los Angeles Rams' half time shows at the Sports Arena.
Cheatham’s major works with orchestra, include Brahms' Requiem, Verdi's Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Vivaldi's Gloria, Saint-Saens' Christmas Oratorio and Dubois' Seven Last Words of Christ.
Also a composer, in 1969, Chas wrote and directed an opera entitled Blackness Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, which was performed at 17 universities in California, Arizona and Colorado, with a cast of 80 students from Duarte High School. During 1984-1989, Cheatham wrote, directed and produced, with a cast of 500 children from the Greater Los Angeles area, a musical production entitled, Christmas through the Eyes of a Child, which was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre.
Chas has coordinated various significant music tours and has received many outstanding awards and accolades for his accomplishments. In 1971 he toured seven countries in Europe with the Cheatham Singers.
Chas formed the Los Angeles Episcopal Chorale Society in 1983, and it has been a labor of love for the past 27 years. In 1992 and 1993, he orchestrated and directed the Chorale on two Australian tours, where he conducted over 37 concerts. In 1997, Cheatham toured Vienna, Austria, for the International Music Choral Festival "Advent Sing." Highlights included his selection, from a pool of 115 fellow directors, to lead the 1,100-voice Mass Choir in Beethoven's Ode to Joy during the festival's grand finale.
In May of 2000, Dr. Cheatham prepared the Chorale for a 10-day tour between Havana, Cuba, Montego Bay and Jamaica where the Chorale was chosen to open the International Choral Festival de Cuba at the Basilica, as well as a concert in the hotel Parque’ Central. In July 2002, Cheatham flew his combined 40-member Chorale and band to Denver, Colorado, to render a full concert at the General Episcopal Convention. The momentum heightened in October of the same year when Dr. Cheatham and the Chorale hosted a full concert at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Los Angeles.
Dr. Cheatham prepared the Chorale for a return visit to Vienna, Austria, in November 2003 where the Chorale participated in the 2003 International Advent Sing – 2003. He also traveled to Morocco & Germany where he had been commissioned to conduct various Music Workshops. He also was privileged to direct his Chorale in singing the Mass at the 2009 General Episcopal Convention
In recent years, Chas has led the Chorale on tours and directed their performances in China, Spain, Holland and Germany. He celebrated the Chorale’s 30th anniversary in 2013 where the Chorale ‘turned the tables’ and honored him for his dedicated leadership over 30 years of service.