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Named after the 17th-century term for music played in a "chamber" (musica da camera), the Da Camera Society was founded at Mount Saint Mary's University in 1973 to restore chamber music to the intimate environments for which it was originally intended. In 1980, the Society inaugurated CHAMBER MUSIC IN HISTORIC SITES®  - a series of concerts matching world-class ensembles with historically and architecturally significant buildings.
With 21 to 29 concerts each year staged in relatively intimate settings, the Society is both the largest and the smallest presenter of chamber music in the Southland. Our historic-sites programs have included newly-discovered music of the California missions at Mission San Fernando, Marcus Roberts at the Dunbar (a focal point during Central Avenue's golden age of jazz), music from the court of Louis XIV at a Pasadena "chateau," a children's concert of Japanese traditional music at the Aikido Center in Little Tokyo, the great Milt Jackson at Union Station, the Tallis Scholars in an English Gothic-styled church, and Poncho Sanchez at the Mayan Theater.
Called "undoubtedly the most imaginative, permanent floating concert series in Southern California, if not the nation," (Applause Magazine), the program has been acclaimed as a model by local critics. "Amid all the local competition, the series that is simply the best - in venues, in consistent quality of performance, in the power to rejuvenate the listener as only live musical events can - is CHAMBER MUSIC IN HISTORIC SITES®" (Los Angeles Times).
In addition to enriching the Southern California community with outstanding musical performances celebrating our cultural landmarks, the Society's mission includes the goal of making a difference in the community by bringing music into the lives of those most in need of its enriching and affirmative powers - low-income and diverse audiences of young people, seniors, the disabled and the disadvantaged. These community programs not only nurture the audiences of the future, but also develop young people's sensitivity and self-esteem, help them explore their own creative abilities, demonstrate the value of discipline, and inspire them to aspire and to achieve. The outstanding musicians featured at these concerts both articulate and model these values, turning their performances into lessons in harmony and in hope.
Over the past 40 years, the Society has evolved from a modest, entrepreneurial project into a major cultural organization of regional and national significance. Join us today or at our next concert, and start your journey through the musical landscape of the Southland!