The Portland Community Chorus has a heritage dating back to the 1950s and 1960s, when it performed under the direction of Paul Vermel with the Portland Symphony Orchestra. After a decade of dormancy, the group was reorganized in 1978 by Joel Hayden, and was incorporated as a non-profit organization in the early 1980s. The group has expanded steadily over the last 20 years, and now consists of over 150 singers as annual members. Since 1978 the Chorus has been directed by Joel Hayden, Stewart Shuster, Daniel Junkin, Judith Hunt Quimby, and now Rob Westerberg.
The Chorus features two events annually, offering seasonal fare at their Yuletide Celebration each December, and a variety of classical, folk, spiritual and lighter works in the spring. In November 1999 the PCC presented Voices of Hope, a gala concert at Merrill Auditorium with invited guests Androscoggin Chorale, Tri-City Community Chorus, Gorham Community Chorus, and the Oratorio Chorale. This event was duplicated in 2006 as a fundraiser for the Good Shepherd Food Bank. The PCC's Voices of the Millenium concert saluted the year 2000. Saints & Angels, the PCC's Spring 2002 presentation of Rutter's Requiem and other works, was a moving concert that was in part evocative of the crisis of September 11.
Besides its annual concert schedule, the PCC serves as the core group for the Portland Symphony Orchestra's Magic of Christmas Chorus during the Symphony's Magic of Christmas, a Maine tradition since 1980. PCC also brings its enthusiasm for song to area nursing, assisted-living and group homes in an active Outreach program. The Portland Community Chorus enjoys a variety of venues and a growing local following in the greater Portland area, remaining a chorus that takes great pride in its musicianship while keeping the word "community" first and foremost in its scope and mission.