In the Spring of 1960, seven vocalists, who had been gathering for several months to sing just for their own pleasure, met once again at the Cambridge home of Cecil Jenkin's mother. One of the singers (Dr. Jenkins doesn't recall which one) suggested that they form a choral society, and on June 27, 1961 the Jackson Choral Society was incorporated. The chorus is now one of the oldest arts organizations in the state of Mississippi.
Longtime friends and Millsaps Singers veterans Leonard Metts, Patsy and Cecil Jenkins, and Jane Ellen and Richard Naef met Miriam and Lowell Bylar through the choir at St. Luke Methodist Church where Miriam was the accompanist and Lowell was the choir director. Lowell volunteered to be the first director of the newly-created chorus and charged no fee for his services.
The inaugural concert, Mendelssohn's Hymn of Praise, was presented on November 26, 1961 in the auditorium of the War Memorial Building in Jackson. Over 106 concerts later, the chorus continues to be a non-profit,
non-auditioned organization of volunteer singers (many of whom are musicians by profession) which is providing the metropolitan Jackson area with imaginative programs of quality literature. For certain special presentations, the Choral Society has joined forces with college choirs, community girl choirs, a high school choir, the Mississippi Opera Chorus, the Mississippi Chorus, and the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and has represented its community in three concert tours of Europe.
Ten conductors have shared their talent with the Choral Society during the past fifty years. The chorus has been extremely fortunate to have worked with: