In 1951, a group of Charlotte singers, under the direction of Earl F. Berg, founded the Oratorio Singers of Charlotte. The founding members envisioned a group that would perform great choral masterpieces, especially large-scale choral-orchestral works. The first concert, held at Myers Park United Methodist Church, was a production of Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus. The performance included 68 singers and was sponsored by the local chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
Mr. Earl F. Berg served as Music Director until 1960 followed by Mr. Donald Plott from 1961 until 1981. Dr. Mary Nell Saunders served as Music Director from 1981 until 1993, during which time she founded both the Charlotte Youth Oratorio Singers and the Oratorio Chamber Chorus.
At the conclusion of the 1992–1993 Season, the Boards of the Oratorio Singers of Charlotte and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra merged the two organizations. The combined organizations are now able to produce large-scale choral works previously beyond the scope of either individual group.
Dr. Hugh F. Floyd served as the first Director of OSC in its new capacity as the official chorus of the Charlotte Symphony from 1993–1995. Mr. David Tang served as Director from 1996–2004. With the opening of the 2004–2005 Season, Dr. Scott Allen Jarrett began his tenure as the Music Director of the Oratorio Singers of Charlotte.
Throughout its history, the Oratorio Singers of Charlotte has received funding and grant support from numerous national, state, and local organizations, including, Grassroots Arts Program of the NC Arts Council, and the Music Division of the NC Arts Council.