The Dale Warland Singers earned acclaim around the United States for their commitment to commissioning and performing 20th-century choral music. They were, in 1992, the first recipient of the Margaret Hillis Achievement Award for Choral Excellence. The Singers were also recognized by ASCAP for their work on behalf of composers and new music. Founder and director Dale Warland retired at the end of the 2003-2004 season, and the chorus did not continue after his retirement.
The Dale Warland Singers commissioned 270 choral works, presented more than 400 concerts and produced 27 highly acclaimed recordings in the 32 years of its existence. More than 150 notable composers have worked with the Dale Warland Singers, including Grammy winners Dominick Argento, Libby Larsen, Stephen Paulus, Carol Barnett, Aaron Jay Kernis, George Shearing, Dave Brubeck, Peter Schickele, Alice Parker, Kirke Mechem, Mary Ellen Childs, Augusta Read Thomas, Janika Vandervelde, Bernard Rands, Emma Lou Diemer, Brent Michael Davids, Frank Ferko and Eric Whitacre. The Dale Warland Singers’ Choral Venture program encouraged works by emerging composers, awarding commissions to over fifty talented composers.
In addition to an annual subscription season in the Twin Cities, the Dale Warland Singers toured through out the United States and abroad. In 1990, the group traveled to Stockholm and Helsinki to represent North America at the Second World Symposium on Choral Music. In 2002, the Dale Warland Singers made its debut at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago and performed at the American Harp Society National Conference and at the Sixth World Symposium on Choral Music, both held in the Twin Cities. The ensemble also appeared on Garrison Keillor’s original A Prairie Home Companion radio program and performed regularly on Public Radio International’s Saint Paul Sunday. Its annual “Echoes of Christmas” and “Cathedral Classics” broadcasts reached 1.5 million listeners across the United States.
In March 2007, Dale Warland, received the Robert Shaw Award in Choral Music. This award is given biannually by the American Choral Directors Association to honor an individual for lifetime achievement in the choral art.
Royalties from the sale of every Dale Warland Singers recording on Gothic are donated to the Dale Warland Singers Fund for New Choral Music, an endowment administered by the American Composers Forum. Earnings from the Fund are used to commissioning, performance and recording of new choral works.