The Ashtabula County Choral Music Society was created in 1989 by a Committee of individuals representing choral music performance in schools, churches and community choruses from throughout the county. The goal was to draw experienced county singers together for the performance of large choral works two or three times a season since 1990. The formal organization developed over the next five years with the creation of a Constitution and By-Laws, development of a Board of Directors, identification of staff positions, establishment of a funding process, and receipt of non-profit status and incorporation. For several years the Messiah Chorus tradition of providing annual performances of Handel's masterpiece was maintained as one event in the ACCMS season.
A program of choral education with performance opportunities for children and youth began in 1997 with the first Choir Camp and the creation of the Children's Choir. A Youth Choir was added in 2000. Ashtabula All-County Honor Choir festivals for both Junior and Senior High Schools have been sponsored since 2002. Yuletide Feastes were produced biennially from 2001-2011. ACCMS has enjoyed venue partnerships with First Presbyterian Church (Ashtabula)< Kent State University Ashtabula 2001-2008, First United Methodist Church (Ashtabula), North Kingsville Presbyterian Church (North Kingsville), and currently Ashtabula County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (Kingsville).
Each season the Board of Directors has provided for the funding and policy needs of the organization as it grew and developed. Their efforts have insured that ACCMS could: 1) continue incorporation and non-profit status; 2) meet the demands of the Ohio Arts Council as an organization worthy of grant awards; 3) maintain communication with singers and audiences; 4) establish an endowment fund as a commitment to the future of the mission; and 5) increase activity and community involvement.
With the support of the Ohio Arts Council 2006-2015, the Choral Music Society developed performance events in collaboration with area school choral programs, arts organizations, institutions, colleges and universities, and performing venues. These collaborations have provided for audience development with more performances in a wider range of geographical areas and special interest events.