The primary purpose of the Masterworks Chorus of the Palm Beaches is to expose and educate its members and the general public to great choral masterpieces. The performance of these works from all nationalities, styles, and periods will educate, enrich, and enhance the quality of life of its members and the patrons, who come to hear this beautiful and time-tested music. A secondary goal is to make our performances affordable to all: the chorus continually strives to trim costs and keep ticket prices low so that more members of the community can come and hear this beautiful “live” music. In addition, it’s important that students are exposed to classical music and one of our goals is to continue working with local schools to incorporate choral students into our programs. In doing so, we give these children exposure to an adult choral group in hopes they might continue America’s great choral tradition as they become adults.
The Masterworks Chorus of the Palm Beaches was organized in August, 1979 by Dr. Jack W. Jones and several interested members of the community. It was incorporated as a nonprofit corporation in February, 1980.
The first rehearsal of the Masterworks Chorus was held on Tuesday, October 9, 1979 at the Royal Poinciana Chapel in Palm Beach. Its first concert was Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, which was presented with orchestra on November 27, 1979 at Bethesda-By-The-Sea Episcopal Church in Palm Beach. There were 70 original members of the chorus.
Artistic Music Director
Ken Taylor has been teaching music in the Palm Beach County School system for 28 years. After a 10-year stint conducting choral music at Bak Middle School of the Arts, he was appointed Director of Choral Activities at the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in 2016. In 2023, he was awarded the prestigious Randolph A. Frank Prize in the category of Performing Arts Educator.
In addition to this outstanding recognition, he was awarded $10,000 in prize money during an official award ceremony in May. Mr. Taylor embodies the mission of this award, serving as a dedicated educator, who enriches the quality of the arts in Palm Beach County. He is in his 35th year of teaching music for the School District of Palm Beach County Schools and is currently serving in his 7th year as Director of Choral Studies at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in both music education and music theory from Palm Beach Atlantic College.
His choruses have consistently received superior ratings at district and state choral festivals since 1991. He has conducted choruses at the National American Choral Directors Conferences in Miami (2007) and Chicago (2011). In 2014, his Boys Chorus from Bak performed at the Southern Division ACDA Conference in Jacksonville.
Mr. Taylor is an active adjudicator and clinician for district music performance assessments throughout the state of Florida. He has conducted all-state choirs in several states throughout the southeast. He also is asked to conduct county honor choirs throughout the state of Florida each year. He has twice served as the Florida Vocal Association District 14 Chairman. He also served as Coordinator for the FVA All-State SSAA choir for several years.
Mr. Taylor holds memberships in several professional organizations including the Florida Music Educators Association, American Choral Directors Association, and Music Educators National Conference.
DR. JACK W. JONES
A noted concert organist and native of Daytona Beach, Dr. Jones held a Bachelor of Music degree from Stetson University, Deland, FL, a Master of Sacred Music degree from Union Theological Seminary, New York, NY, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Juilliard School, New York, NY. Jack founded the Masterworks Chorus of the Palm Beaches in 1979 to bring performances of major choral works to Palm Beach County. Dr. Jones served as Organist/Director of Music at the Royal Poinciana Chapel from 1989 until his retirement in 2013. He passed away in 2018.
Cultural Council of the Palm Beaches
For over 30 years, the Cultural Council has actively promoted cultural development in Palm Beach County and South Florida by providing services and funding to cultural organizations and artists. We are grateful for their financial assistance.