The Robert Shaw Chorale was a professional chorus founded in New York City in 1948 by Robert Shaw, a Californian who had been drafted out of college a decade earlier by Fred Waring to conduct his Glee Club in radio broadcasts. The Chorale enjoyed an intermittent existence, being formed and re-formed on an ad hoc basis for national and international tours and RCA recordings until 1965, shortly before Shaw assumed the post of Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
During its existence the Robert Shaw Chorale became arguably the best-known and most widely-respected professional choral organization in the United States, with repertory ranging from J.S. Bach to folk music and Broadway tunes. The group's album recording "Christmas Hymns And Carols" released in November 1957 was certified gold in August 1964 by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). This recording peaked at #5 on Billboard's Top Pop Album Chart. The group made several tours sponsored by the U.S. State Department as part of a cultural exchange program, including 21 European and Mid-eastern countries in 1956; South America; and in 1962, a seven-week tour of Russia.