During 10 seasons, from 1996-97 through to 2005-06, Julian Wachner set the Providence Singers on a path to unprecedented achievements in repertoire, musical growth, audience development, critical acclaim and artistic collaboration. Guest appearances with jazz legend Dave Brubeck at the Newport Jazz Festival and in Lincoln Center, subscription concerts with the Rhode Island Philharmonic and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and appearances with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Newport Baroque Orchestra and other organizations have marked the Providence Singers' growing reputation throughout the region.
In 2003-04, the Providence Singers expanded its programs to include an educational program for high school students. Founded collaboratively with the Music School of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Junior Providence Singers is now a 15-week intensive choral training and performance program administered by the Providence Singers at the Philharmonic's Carter Center for Music Education.
The Providence Singers takes the lead in bringing new choral works to the Rhode Island community. In 1998, the Providence Singers commissioned and premiered Wachner's Sometimes I Feel Alive (selected as first prize winner in the 2000 Boston Choral Consortium Composition Competition and in the 2001 Cambridge Madrigal Singers Competition); offered the world premiere of Providence composer Elaine Bearer's Magdalene Passion in 1999; commissioned and premiered a major new choral/orchestral work, Proud Music of the Storm, by Carlyle Sharpe on November 3, 2001; commissioned and premiered Trevor Weston's Ma'at Musings in 2005; premiered Dave Brubeck's The Commandments in 2005; and in 2006 premiered Julian Wachner's Jubilate Deo (commissioned by Patricia Fuller, Singers Board Chair), for triple chorus and children's choir a cappella. The latest commission, Tarik O'Regan's Where All Is Buried, will have its premiere in November 2009.
The National Endowment for the Arts selected the Providence Singers to host one of seven American Masterpieces Choral Festivals in 2007. This included a weekend of choral music and workshops. As part of that weekend, the Singers and their guest choral organizations presented the world premieres of three newly commissioned works.
The Arts and Business Council of Rhode Island honored the Providence Singers with its 2008 Jabez Gorham Award which recognizes outstanding arts/cultural organizations in Rhode Island for unwavering commitment to excellence, significant impact in the community, and successful organizational development.
The Providence Singers' first CD recording, Lukas Foss: The Prairie, was released in 2008 on the BMOP/sound label. A second CD, Dominick Argento: Jonah and the Whale, is scheduled for release in November 2009 also on the BMOP/sound label.