Friends of Chamber Music was organized by the Liberal Arts Program Committee of Oregon State College in 1958 in response to the desire by some members of the faculty to bring world class groups to perform chamber music in Corvallis. Its name was changed to Chamber Music Corvallis prior to the start of the 1997-1998 concert season.
CMC launched its first concert season the fall of 1959. Initially CMC presented three concerts a year, moving to four in 1964, five in 1971, and six in 1990. Now there are again five concerts per season, a decision made in June 2014 based on lower revenues and increased competition musically locally and regionally. Chamber Music Corvallis remains dedicated to bringing the finest artists to present the masterpieces of the chamber music repertory.
CMC has a commitment to serving OSU students and has, in turn, received grant support from the students themselves through the OSU Educational Activities Committee. Committed to music education, CMC subsidizes significantly reduced ticket prices for OSU, K-12, and other students. Whenever possible, the visiting artists lead master classes for local students; at least one master class and performance annually for the high schools is sponsored by CMC.
Chamber Music Corvallis is an independent 501(c)(3) organization which once functioned in cooperation with but now functions independently of Oregon State University. CMC has never had an Executive Director; instead, it has relied on an Executive Committee consisting entirely of dedicated local citizens who volunteer their time and effort. The original website domain name in 2000 was changed to www.chambermusiccorvallis.org in 2007.