The Daytona Beach Choral Society was organized in 1974 under the direction of Mr. David Mathews, who was the organist at Seabreeze United Church. Mr. Mathews envisioned a community chorus for Daytona Beach, and through his efforts an organization known as “The Civic Chorus” was born. After passing through a “light music” phase, Mr. Mathews was convinced that the chorus was capable of performing classical works. The name was changed to “Oratorio Chorus”.
In the summer of 1977, Dorothea Waddel Tonnesen from the Huntington New York school system became Director. She brought with her a passion to perform a variety of great works. Under her direction, the group prepared requiem masses by Haydn, Verdi, Cherubini, Beethoven, and Mozart. Semi-classical music included works from major Broadway musicals. The group incorporated in 1979 under the name of “Daytona Beach Choral Society.”