Spectrum Chamber Music Society was founded in 1986 by six members of the Fort Worth Chamber Orchestra (now the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra) as a means to explore compositions written for smaller ensembles. Originally consisting of two violinists, two violists and two cellists, Spectrum soon expanded its scope to become an “umbrella organization,” presenting a wide variety of works involving a virtually infinite combination of instruments. As a result, Spectrum has truly become an entity driven by the desires of the performing artists to seek out the unusual and obscure as well as the familiar.
Spectrum began with an annual season of three concerts performed in the sanctuary of First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist church in east Fort Worth. Throughout the decade that followed the group also performed in concerts for the Abilene Chamber Players, Fort Worth Main St. Arts Festival, Twilight Musicale of the Fort Worth Euterpean Club and the Women’s Club, the music series of Texas Wesleyan University and the University of Texas at Arlington, the Basically Beethoven Festival of the Dallas Fine Arts Chamber Players, Tarrant County College recital series, and the series at Trinity United Methodist Church in Arlington, among others.
In 1997 the members of Spectrum were delighted to be asked to begin a concert series downtown at First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth. Since then Spectrum has performed three concerts each season at First United Methodist, while we continue the original series of three concerts at First Jefferson.
Every fall, winter and spring, we present a unique program at each church (usually within a couple of weeks of each other) for a total of six concerts per season. As the repertoire is usually completely different from one concert to the next, in the 29 seasons of concerts at both venues Spectrum has performed over 500 different compositions by almost 200 different composers!
The Covid-19 pandemic, which caused public performances to be shut down beginning in March 2020, required Spectrum to adapt by presenting livestream-only concerts at both of our home churches. The first livestream-only concert was presented on Thursday June 18, 2020 in the main sanctuary of First United Methodist Church. It was a huge success, allowing us to expand our reach to audiences all over the country, and even outside of the United States.
We have since returned to live, in-person performances, but whenever possible, we will continue to live stream our concerts so we can continue to reach as many people as possible.