The roots of Gloriae Dei Cantores date to 1976, when members assembled informally as an ecumenical choir active in the Cape Cod area. Director Elizabeth Patterson gradually shaped the group into a first-rate choir. In 1987 the ensemble traveled to Cambridge, England, for brief studies with George Guest
and Stephen Cleobury
. The former was impressed with the choir's collective talent and believed it worthy to move from amateur to professional status.
Patterson eventually accepted his judgment (or allowed it to merely confirm her own), and the ensemble adopted the name Gloriae Dei Cantores in 1988. The following year was made its first international tour, an ambitious and successful excursion that covered major cities in England, Holland, Germany, Hungary, and the former Yugoslavia. Though it was now a professional choir, the members maintained their volunteer, unsalaried status, which still holds true.
The group's first recordings appeared in 1992, and included a disc of sacred motets by Mendelssohn
, an all-Palestrina
CD, and an album of motets, masses, and hymns by Rheinberger
. A string of other recordings followed, sometimes four or five in a single year. Throughout the 1990s and into the new century, Gloriae Dei Cantores also continued to make regular concert tours at home and abroad, generally to critical and public acclaim.
In late 2006 the ensemble, still led by Patterson, made a highly praised concert tour with the Boston Pops
of cities in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States. Gloriae Dei Cantores' later recordings include the 2006 releases Burnished Bright, an album containing a mixture of Baroque and contemporary music, and Gregorian Requiem: Chants of the Requiem Mass.