He references Handel's "Messiah" as a piece audiences anticipate this time of year. "People think that's it, but there's a lot of works out there. We try to promote contemporary works, challenge the singers and stretch the ear of the audience."
Though the Chorus maintains a loyal following, Dalton acknowledges the difficulties the group faces with attendance and finances.
"There is so much music out there in the media, in places not available 60 years ago," Dalton said. "Live music is a tougher sell all the time. They can just put music on their iPods."
One way the Chorus combats the competition is providing free admittance to its concerts. For 60 years, the group has never charged admission.
"It makes it very hard to meet expenses," Haskell said. "We must obtain grants and contributions, but we'll continue to go that way as long as we can. People can see quality performances regardless of income."
Although the Civic Chorus is always looking for new members -- with "tenors always at a premium" -- Dalton stressed that the program is for singers "looking to stretch themselves"
"It's not 'Glee.'"
Visit charlestoncivicchorus.com to learn more about the group's history, auditions and ways to contribute.Reach Shelly Davidov at 304-348-4882 or shel...@wvgazette.com.