One of Chorus America's greatest strengths is a diverse governing board of accomplished arts leaders from communities across North America.
Catherine Peterson is the Executive Director of ArtsBoston, Boston’s largest and most high impact arts service organization. Under Ms. Peterson’s guidance, ArtsBoston has garnered significant recognition in the community, including the Commonwealth Award, the state’s highest honor for the arts, acknowledgement from the Boston Theatre Critics Association that “no organization has been more important over the past 25 years to bringing theatre to a wider audience than ArtsBoston” and acclaim as “a national leader in arts marketing” by a Massachusetts Cultural Council peer review. Ms. Peterson worked for the English National Opera in the 1980s, opening the first opera merchandise store in Great Britain. She has also held positions as Artistic Administrator for The Cleveland Orchestra, Vice President at Columbia Artists Management and Project Manager for the Worcester Art Museum’s $1.3 million audience development program supported by the Wallace Foundation. Ms. Peterson is a graduate of Stanford’s Executive Program for NonProfit Leaders and LeadBoston, the NCCJ’s social justice leadership program. Ms. Peterson graduated summa cum laude from Wellesley College.
Immediate Past Chairman
Dr. Rollo Dilworth is Professor of Choral Music Education and Chair of the Music Education Department at Temple University's Esther Boyer College of Music and Dance in Philadelphia, PA. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in choral music education, he serves as conductor for the Temple University Singing Owls Community Chorus. Prior to his appointment at Temple, Dilworth served as Director of Choral Activities and Music Education at North Park University in Chicago, IL for 13 years. Dilworth holds degrees from Case Western Reserve University, University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Northwestern University.
Dilworth has written and/or arranged over 150 choral works that are currently in print. His choral compositions are a part of the Henry Leck Creating Artistry Choral Series with Hal Leonard Corporation and Colla Voce Music Company. He has recently published pieces with the Santa Barbara Music Publishing Company as part of the Mary Alice Stollak Choral Series. Dilworth is a contributing author for the Essential Elements for Choir and the Experiencing Choral Music textbook series, both published by the Hal Leonard Corporation/Glencoe/McGraw-Hill Publications, and for Music Express! Teachers Magazine. He authored a book of choral warm-ups for elementary and secondary choral ensembles entitled Choir Builders: Fundamental Vocal Techniques for General and Classroom Use. He frequently serves as a guest conductor and/or clinician for honors, festival and all-state choirs throughout the United States and abroad. Dilworth is an active member of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM), the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), and Chorus America, where he currently serves as Immediate Past Chairman.
David C. Howse is a recognized speaker and commentator on the arts and social integration. An associate vice president at Emerson College and managing director of ArtsEmerson, Howse is part of the collaborative three-person leadership team that co-directs Emerson’s multi-faceted Office of the Arts program.
Howse previously served as the executive director of the award-winning Boston Children’s Chorus (BCC), an organization that brings youth from the ages of 7 to 18 from the greater Boston area to create harmony both musically and socially through a shared love of music. As a founding staff member, Howse was instrumental in helping grow BCC from a pilot project serving 20 kids in 2003 to a vibrant organization educating over 500 singers in 12 choirs in 5 locations.
Howse holds degrees from Bradley University and New England Conservatory of Music and is a graduate of Harvard Business School's Next Generation Executive Leadership Program. Currently, as a member of the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program, a consortium of 100 of the world’s top cultural leaders, he is involved in addressing the critical issues that face the arts and cultural sector world-wide.
Howse has received numerous awards for his innovative leadership including Boston Business Journal's “40 under 40” Award, recognizing him as one Boston’s best and brightest young executives. David serves on the South Shore Hospital Board of Directors, the Board of Corporators for Eastern Bank, Chorus America Board of Directors, and on the Board of the Forbes House Museum. He also serves on the advisory board of the Eliot School for the Arts and the corporation of the Community Music Center of Boston.
He lives outside of Boston with his wife, two young boys, and their dog Pluto.
Mary A. Lyons is a passionate advocate of quality standards-based arts education and public-private partnerships in the arts. A singer with the Pacific Chorale, she is the board's Vice President of Education. In honor of her long commitment to the organization, the Pacific Chorale has named her Chairman Emeritus.
She is the Immediate Past President of Arts Orange County. During her term as President, Arts Orange County merged with Imagination Celebration of Orange County in order to bring more arts education workshops and activities to children and families. She is the Secretary of the PBS SoCal Foundation which governs Southern California's PBS station. She has chaired several Education Committees while serving on the board of Chorus America. She presently serves on its Development and Programs and Education Committee, as well as serving as Secretary. In 2002, Chorus America gave her the Michael Korn Award for Philanthropy and in 2004, the Michael Korn Founders Award for the Development of the Professional Choral Art. She is Vice President of Olive Freeman Properties, a property management firm.
Members of the Board
Artistic Director of Pacific Chorale since 1972, John Alexander is considered one of America's finest choral conductors. His inspired leadership both on the podium and as an advocate for the advancement of the arts has generated international respect and acclaim throughout his career. His long and distinguished career has encompassed conducting hundreds of choral and orchestral performances in 27 countries around the globe.
Alexander is not only recognized for his exceptional talent in bringing the masterworks to life, but is also eminent as a strong proponent of contemporary American music. Conductors with whom he has worked include Pierre Boulez, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Michael Tilson Thomas. Alexander is a board member and former president of Chorus America. Alexander retired in spring 2006 from his position of Director of Choral Studies at California State University, Fullerton, having been awarded the honor of Professor Emeritus. In 2003, Chorus America honored him with the establishment of the "John Alexander Conducting Faculty Chair" for their conducting and presented him with the "Michael Korn Founders Award for Development of the Professional Choral Art" in 2008.
Anton Armstrong, Harry R. and Thora H. Tosdal Professor of Music at St. Olaf College, became the fourth conductor of the St. Olaf Choir in 1990 after ten years in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he had served on the faculty of Calvin College and led the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus and the St. Cecilia Youth Chorale.
Armstrong is a graduate of St. Olaf College and earned advanced degrees at the University of Illinois and Michigan State University. He is editor of a multicultural choral series for earthsongs Publications and co-editor of the revised St. Olaf Choral Series for Augsburg Fortress Publishers. In June 1998, he began his tenure as founding conductor of the Oregon Bach Festival Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy. Active nationally and internationally as a guest conductor and lecturer, he has been featured as a clinician at the Fourth, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth World Symposia on Choral Music. In 2006, Baylor University announced that Anton Armstrong was selected from a field of 118 distinguished nominees to receive the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching. In 2009 he received The Distinguished Alumni Award from Michigan State University. In 2013, Armstrong received the Saltzman Award from the Oregon Bach Festival. The Festival's highest honor, the Saltzman Award is given to individuals who have provided exceptional levels of leadership to the organization.
Marie Bucoy-Calavan has conducted a diverse range of ensembles, from primary and secondary level choirs, to community, collegiate, and professional choruses and opera productions. Bucoy-Calavan finished her bachelor of arts in music and master of music in choral conducting at California State University, Fullerton, serving as the graduate assistant conductor of both the University Singers and Chamber Choir. She has prepared and performed with symphonic choruses under the batons of Carl St.Clair, Bramwell Tovey, John Williams, Eric Whitacre, Keith Lockhart, John Mauceri, Steven Mercurio, Louis Langrée, John Nelson, Franz Welser-Möst, James Conlon, and John Alexander in distinguished venues, including Walt Disney Concert Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, and the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary.
In addition, Bucoy-Calavan placed second in the 2013 American Choral Directors Association National Choral Conducting CompetitionShe completed her doctorate of musical arts in choral conducting at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Most recently, she served as the assistant conductor of the May Festival Chorus, the symphonic chorus for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Currently, Bucoy-Calavan is the director of choral studies at the University of Akron, where she directs the Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, and Men’s Chorus while teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in conducting. Her research interests lies in conducting pedagogy and its unification amongst choral, orchestral, and wind ensembles.
Composer, arranger, conductor, pianist, scholar, researcher, teacher... Roland M. Carter is the UTC Holmberg Professor of American Music. During his 23-year tenure at The University of Tennessee Chattanooga, Professor Carter conducted choirs, taught classes, accompanied recitals, arranged music, funded concerts, fostered inter-departmental productions, chaired the department, mentored and recruited students, and effectively promoted affirmative action.
Carter has presented and performed concerts in the nation’s most prestigious venues and with major orchestras; lectures, workshops, master classes, and festivals for schools, churches, colleges, and universities, and national associations throughout the country. His compositions and arrangements are performed by music organizations throughout the world. Carter has produced, appeared on, and served as consultant for national and international radio and television programs. He is in constant demand as guest conductor and lecturer and maintains a very active schedule of workshops and performances.
For his notable contributions to the performance and preservation of African American music, Carter's biography and list of compositions are included in Our Musical Heritage, a catalog published jointly by Carl Fischer Music and the National Association of Negro Musicians; his bio also appears in International Dictionary of Black Composers and the soon to be released updated edition of The New Grove Dictionary of American Music. He has received national awards from, and has been recognized by the National Association of Negro Musicians, the National Black Music Caucus, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Sigma Iota Theta Music Fraternities. He was selected to conduct the inaugural concert of the African American Music Series at Carnegie Hall. He has received the Tennessee Governors Arts Award and his contributions have been recognized by universities throughout the country including an honorary doctorate from Shaw University in Raleigh, NC. Carter shares with Robert Shaw and Leonard DePaur the honor of being one of only three musicians ever to receive honorary membership in the Morehouse College Glee Club.
In addition to teaching and performing, Carter has an outstanding record in arts advocacy and service. A life member of the National Association of Negro Musicians, Carter has served on its Board of Directors, Chair of the Committee on Choral Standards, and national President. He is a life member of the American Choral Directors Association. Carter has served as a member and co-chair of the NEA Music Advisory Panels for Choruses. He has held seats on several national, regional, and local including the Chattanooga African American Museum, the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera Association, Allied Arts of Chattanooga (ArtsBuild), Tennessee Arts Commission, National Association of Arts Agencies, Southern Arts Exchange, the League of American Symphony Orchestras and SPHINX. He is founder and CEO of MAR-VEL, a publisher specializing in music by African American composers and traditions.
Gramophone Magazine calls Shawn Crouch a “gifted composer” and Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times describes Shawn Crouch’s work as music of “gnarling atonal energy.” The Miami Herald called his Road From Hiroshima; A Requiem a “staggering achievement, an imaginative, powerful and deeply moving work” making the Miami Herald and Sun Sentinel's 2005 Classical Music Standouts. Shawn has received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, ASCAP, Yale University, Meet the Composer and the Percussive Arts Society. He is the inaugural recipient of the Dale Warland Singers Commissioning Award given by Chorus America and the American Composers Forum. Shawn Crouch has had his works performed by among others; American Modern Ensemble, Cantori New York, California E.A.R. Unit, Chanticleer, Del Sol String Quartet, the Esoterics, Eighth Blackbird, Lost Dog New Music Ensemble, newEar Contemporary Ensemble, Phoenix Chorale, Prism Quartet, Santa Fe Chorale, Seraphic Fire, the Yesaroun' Duo, and Volti.
An educator as well as a composer, Shawn Crouch has served as the Founding Director of Seraphic Fire’s Miami Choral Academy, a tuition-free program that creates a little league-type network of choral ensembles for children in underserved communities of Miami-Dade County. Shawn Crouch has also served on the music faculty at the Walden School for Young Musicians, and the Hunter College Campus School in New York City.
Crouch received his B.Mus. in composition from the New England Conservatory, and his M.Mus. in composition from the Yale School of Music. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Chorus America.
Hugh is North America President of ACFEA Tour Consultants, based in the San Francisco office. Born in England, he has a master's degree from Cambridge, where he sang at King's College under Sir David Willcocks. Hugh sang professionally in Europe, including with the Monteverdi Choir, before teaching music in Australia. He now performs as a soloist and with several professional ensembles in the Bay Area. Hugh was president of American Bach Soloists for six years and now serves as their treasurer.
Conductor and composer Dominick DiOrio was recently named the 2014 winner of The American Prize in Composition (professional choral division) with the judges saying "his depth of vision, mastery of compositional technique, and unique style set him in a category by himself." DiOrio is associate professor of choral conducting at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he directs NOTUS: IU Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, an auditioned chorus specializing in music of the last fifty years. This Spring, NOTUS will be the Featured Ensemble-in-Residence for the Composers Track at the ACDA National Conference in Salt Lake City.
Called "a forward-thinking young composer filled with new ideas, ready to tackle anything," DiOrio was named Best Composer 2011 by HoustonPress for Klytemnestra, his chamber opera with Divergence Vocal Theater and librettist Misha Penton. His second opera, The Little Blue One with librettist Meghan Guidry, had its premiere in April 2014 in Boston with Juventas New Music Ensemble and musical director Lidiya Yankovskaya. Of the opera, the Boston Examiner wrote, "The Little Blue One defies the widespread notion that contemporary classical music is inaccessible; DiOrio's score abounds with gorgeous lyricism, supported by compelling harmony." He has been awarded prizes in composition from ASCAP and ACDA, among many others. His work is published with Alliance, Boosey & Hawkes, Carl Fischer, Éditions à Couer-Joie, Edition Peters, G. Schirmer, Lorenz, Mark Foster, Oxford and Santa Barbara.
DiOrio earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the Yale School of Music. He also earned the MMA and MM in conducting from Yale and the BM in composition summa cum laude from Ithaca College. He currently serves as Treasurer on the Executive Board for the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) as well as on the advisory boards for the Choral Arts Initiative, the Princeton Pro Musica, and the Young New Yorker's Chorus (YNYC).
Joy Douglass is a former faculty member at Boston University’s School of Music. She holds a doctorate in music education from the University of Michigan, a master’s in music education from Columbia University, and a bachelor of science degree in music education from the State University of New York at Potsdam. Douglass has taught music in numerous public schools, most recently at Newton Public Schools in Massachusetts. From 1979-84 she served as conductor of the Harvard Medical School Madrigal Singers. She was organist/choir director at United Parish of Auburndale for over 20 years and is currently director of children’s music there.
Board Chair, Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati
John Earls is the Chief Financial Officer of the Prospect House, Inc,, a not-for-profit social services agency in Cincinnati, OH. Mr. Earls is the President of the Board of Trustees of both the Vocal Arts Ensemble and Linton Chamber Music. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Cincinnati Opera and the Board of the Cincinnati May Festival. He and his wife Joanne are long-time supporters of choral music in the greater Cincinnati area.
Morna Edmundson is the artistic director of Elektra Women’s Choir, and one of Canada’s best-known choral conductors with a strong reputation for excellence. Passionate since childhood about choral singing, she obtained degrees and diplomas in vocal music in Vancouver, Bellingham, and Stockholm, Sweden where her teachers included Eric Ericson. In 1987, she co-founded Elektra Women’s Choir with Diane Loomer, a treasured partnership that lasted 22 years. In 2009, Morna became Elektra’s sole Artistic Director, continuing the choir’s strong leadership role in concert presentation, commissioning, recording, and mentorship.
For fourteen years Morna shared her love of quality repertoire with a new generation of singers in her role as Associate Artistic Director of Coastal Sound Music Academy, where she was Music Director of the mixed-voice Youth Chamber Choir. She has adjudicated in North America and Asia, conducted honor choirs in several states, co-directed the American Choral Directors Association National Women’s Honor Choir, and gives frequent workshops with choirs of all ages. Ms. Edmundson has given lectures on her work at local, national, and international meetings of choral professionals. In February 2009, Morna was a recipient of the BC Community Achievement Award, which recognized her gifted organizational talent, leadership by example, and her encouragement of others to pursue their musical and choral goals. In June 2011, Morna received a YWCA Woman of Distinction award in recognition of her work with Elektra. In 2013, she began a three-year term as a board member of Chorus America.
Todd Estabrook is the immediate past chair of Boston's Handel and Haydn Society, where he continues to serve on the Board of Governors. His marketing career spans over 25 years with experience in both client and agency roles. He has managed integrated marketing programs in the personal investments and travel industries and for clients in telecommunications, travel, and consumer products. He is currently chief marketing officer for Commonwealth Financial, an independent broker/dealer in Boston. He is former chairman of the board of Chorus America, where he also continues to serve as a board member.
Corty Fengler's 30-year career in philanthropy has included work both as a development officer and as a consultant. She served as canon for development at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and before that as director of development for the San Francisco Symphony and the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and Westover School. She worked for Wellesley College during two capital campaigns. As a consultant she has provided services to nonprofits such as the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and many choruses, orchestras and schools. She has served on national committees for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the Alumnae Board of Wellesley College, and the Board of the Association of California Symphony Orchestras and the board of Walden School, a summer music program in New Hampshire. She is currently chair of the board of Cappella SF, a professional chamber choir, Ragnar Bohlin, artistic director, and serves on the board of Chorus America. Corty sings with the five-time Grammy Award-winning San Francisco Symphony Chorus.
Grant Gershon was named artistic director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale in 2014, after serving as music director since 2001. He also serves as resident conductor of the LA Opera. During his tenure with the Chorale, he has led nearly 100 performances at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, including virtually all of the major works in the choral repertoire. A champion of new music as well, Mr. Gershon has led world premiere performances of major works by John Adams, Louis Andriessen, Christopher Rouse, Steve Reich, and Chinary Ung, among many others.
His discography includes two Grammy Award-nominated recordings: Sweeney Todd (New York Philharmonic Special Editions) and Ligeti’s Grand Macabre (Sony Classical); and five CDs with the Chorale: Glass-Salonen (RCM), You Are (Variations) (Nonesuch), Daniel Variations (Nonesuch), A Good Understanding (Decca), and a second Decca CD of works by Henryk Górecki. In New York he has appeared on the Great Performers series at Lincoln Center and on the Making Music series at Zankel Hall. Other major appearances include performances at the Ravinia, Aspen, Edinburgh, Helsinki and Vienna Festivals. He has worked closely with many leading conductors, including Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, Gustavo Dudamel, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Simon Rattle and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Gershon was named Outstanding Alumnus of the USC Thornton School of Music and is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Thornton School and the Board of Directors of Chorus America.
Joshua Habermann serves as director of the Dallas Symphony Chorus, the official vocal ensemble of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, where he prepares the chorus for classical and pops series concerts and conducts the annual Christmas Celebration programs. Habermann is also music director of the Santa Fe Desert Chorale (Santa Fe, NM), where he made his debut in 2009.
From 1996-2008 Habermann was assistant conductor of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, and professor of music at San Francisco State University, where under his direction the SFSU Chamber Singers received international engagements in Havana, Cuba, and undertook concert tours in Germany and the Czech Republic, and China. In 2006 he led a collaboration between the SFSU Chamber Singers and the Orchestre des Jeunes de Provence in music of Poulenc and the Requiem of Maurice Duruflé in concerts throughout France. National invitations include the Waging Peace Festival in Eugene, Oregon, multiple appearances at the California Music Educators Convention, and an appearance at the American Choral Directors’ Association convention in 2008.
From 2008-2011 Habermann was director of choral studies at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, where he led the graduate program in conducting, and directed the Frost Chorale. Notable projects in Miami included an appearance at the Florida Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association convention, and several collaborations with the New World Symphony and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas in music of Ives, Schubert and Beethoven. During this same period Habermann led the Masterchorale of South Florida in performances of masterworks such as Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Haydn’s Creation, and Mozart’s Requiem.
In addition, Habermann has led honor choirs and choral festivals in North and Latin America, Europe and Asia. As a singer (tenor) he has performed with the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus (Eugene, Oregon), and Conspirare (Austin,Texas). A native of California, he is a graduate of Georgetown University and the University of Texas at Austin, where he completed doctoral studies in conducting with Craig Hella Johnson. He lives in Dallas with his wife Joanna, a children’s choir director, and daughter Kira.
David Hayes is a conductor with an unusually broad range of repertory, spanning the symphonic, oratorio/choral and operatic genres.
Mr. Hayes is currently the Music Director of the Mannes Orchestra and Professor of Professional Practice at Mannes College The New School for Music in New York City, Music Director of The New York Choral Society and Staff Conductor of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Hayes served on the conducting staff of The Philadelphia Orchestra from 2001-2011; making his Philadelphia Orchestra subscription debut in 2003 at the request of Wolfgang Sawallisch. He was Music Director of The Philadelphia Singers (a professional vocal ensemble) from 1992 until May 2015 and also served as the Interim Director of Orchestral Studies at Temple University during the 2014-15 season. In addition, Mr. Hayes has also served as a cover conductor for the New York Philharmonic as well as for Sir Andre Previn on the Curtis Symphony Orchestra’s 1999 European Tour with Anne-Sophie Mutter.
The 2015-2016 Season saw Mr. Hayes leading performances with The Mannes Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall, The New York Choral Society at Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall, a new production of Massenet’s Manon with the Curtis Opera Theatre, work with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, a return to Berkshire Choral International and guest conducting in Spoleto, Italy with Umbrian Serenades.
The 2014-2015 season saw Mr. Hayes leading performances with The Philadelphia Singers, the Mannes Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall, The New York Choral Society at Carnegie Hall, The Temple University Symphony Orchestra and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra. In addition, Mr. Hayes prepared The Philadelphia Singers Chorale for performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra and conductors Alan Gilbert and Stéphane Denève.
The 2013-2014 season saw Mr. Hayes leading performances with the Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières in Canada in addition to his regular performing duties with the Mannes Orchestra, the New York Choral Society (with whom he gave the New York Premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s The Singing Rooms with violinist Jennifer Koh at Carnegie Hall), The Philadelphia Singers and The Curtis Symphony Orchestra.
In addition, Mr. Hayes served as lead faculty for the 2014 Chorus America National Choral/Orchestral Masterclass in New York. He also prepared The Philadelphia Singers Chorale for performances of Handel’s Messiah, Fauré’s Requiem and Duruflé’s Quatre Motets with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Choral Society for a performance with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall of Ye Xiaogang’s Symphonic Poems: Twilight of the Himalaya.
During the 2012-2013 season, Mr. Hayes led performances of the Mannes Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall, subscription concerts of The Philadelphia Singers, concerts with the Indiana University Orchestras, a production of Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore for Opera Memphis, and his debut concerts as the new Music Director of the New York Choral Society at Carnegie Hall. In addition, Mr. Hayes prepared The Philadelphia Singers Chorale for performances of Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky and Handel’s Messiah with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Choral Society for a performance of Verdi’s I Lombardi with the Opera Orchestra of New York at Avery Fisher Hall and The Washington Chorus for a performance of Verdi’s La Traviata with the National Symphony Orchestra at Wolftrap.
During the 2011-2012 season, Mr. Hayes led performances of the Mannes Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York (including the New York premiere of Elliott Carter's Flute Concerto); subscription concerts of The Philadelphia Singers; the Curtis 20/21 ensemble in a concert with Roberto Diàz as soloist in December; served as lead faculty for the Chorus America National Choral/Orchestral Conducting Masterclass in New York in January 2012; led a Curtis Opera Theatre production of Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi; and returned to the Berkshire Choral Festival for an concert of opera acts by Puccini, Verdi and Bizet.
Mr. Hayes’s guest conducting engagements have included concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, the Lancaster (PA) Symphony Orchestra, the Louisiana Philharmonic, The Relâche Ensemble, the Rutgers Orchestra, The Curtis Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Indiana University Philharmonia Orchestra, Opera Memphis, the Curtis Opera Theatre, Orchestre Symphonique de Trois-Rivières, the European Center for Opera and Voice (ECOV) in Ghent, Belgium, Opera Philadelphia, the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, The Los Angeles Master Chorale and a Kennedy Center debut with the Washington Chorus and Orchestra (which includes members of the National Symphony Orchestra). Mr. Hayes made his debut at the Verbier Festival with the Curtis Orchestra and has made several appearances with the Springfield (MA) Symphony Orchestra at the Berkshire Choral Festival.
Mr. Hayes has collaborated with some of the world’s finest soloists including:
Roberto Diàz, Vladimir Feltsman, Haijing Fu, Evelyn Glennie, Gary Graffman, Hillary Hahn, Jennifer Koh, Meng-Chieh Liu, Alan Morrison, William Burden, Alan Held, Nancy Maultsby, Meredith Arwady and Rinat Shaham. In addition, Mr. Hayes has a strong commitment to nourishing contemporary music and frequently collaborates with composers. Among the notable composers with whom he has collaborated are: Tan Dun, Jennifer Higdon, Ezra Laderman, Sir James MacMillan, Paul Moravec, Bright Sheng, Christopher Theofanidis and Chen Yi, among many others. In the world of popular artists, Mr. Hayes has conducted concerts with Billy Joel, Blue Man Group and John Lithgow.
Mr. Hayes holds degrees from the University of Hartford (BM in Musicology) and The Curtis Institute of Music (Diploma in Orchestral Conducting) where he studied conducting with Otto-Werner Mueller. He also studied conducting with Charles Bruck at the Pierre Monteux School in Maine. Mr. Hayes serves on the Scholarship Committee of the Edwin Garrigues Foundation; has served as a panelist for the City of Philadelphia Cultural Fund; and served as a member of the Board of Directors of Chorus America from 2000-2009. He returned to the Board of Chorus America in June of 2016.
Elfrieda Heinrichs has enjoyed a lifetime association with choral music, from her early participation in church and school choirs as a singer and accompanist, to her more recent role as a major supporter of choral groups and activities. She has served on the board of the Ontario Arts Council as well as the boards of both provincial and national choral service organizations in Canada. The Heinrichs Foundation, founded by Elfrieda and her husband Vern, supports a diversity of musical activities. The Heinrichs are honorary patrons of the Elmer Iseler Singers, the Toronto Children's Chorus, and the Amadeus Choir of Toronto. From 1996 to 2006 the Heinrichs Foundation supported the Faculty of Music professional choir in residence program with the Elmer Iseler Singers. The Foundation also endowed the Iseler Choir in Conducting and the Iseler National Fellowships in Choral Conducting. In 2004, The Heinrichs Foundation assisted in launching the three-year International Bach Festival Toronto at the University of Toronto and served as its honorary co-chairs. In 2001, the Heinrichs were awarded Chorus America's Michael Korn Founders Award for Philanthropic Contribution to the Arts. Currently, Elfrieda also serves on the board of the Oregon Bach Festival, and she is a member of the development committee of the Handel House in London, England.
Dr. Craig Jessop is Professor of Music and the founding Dean for the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University. These appointments follow Dr. Jessop’s distinguished tenure as music director of the world famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Head of the Department of Music at Utah State. Under his direction, the Tabernacle Choir received numerous awards, including the coveted National Medal of Arts in a ceremony at the White House. He has recorded over 15 CDs on the Telarc and MTC labels with the Choir and in 2008 received a Grammy nomination for his work with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.
He is the founder and Music Director of the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra and has served as the music director of the Carnegie Hall National High School Choral Festival sponsored by the Weill Institute of Music at Carnegie Hall. Prior to his appointment with the Tabernacle Choir, Dr. Jessop was a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force music programs, where he served as director of the U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants in Washington, D.C. (1980-1987); as commander and conductor of the Band of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe at Ramstein, Germany (1987-1991); and as commander and conductor of the Air Combat Command Heartland of America Band (1991-1995). He has also been music director of the Maryland Choral Society, the Rhineland-Pfalz International Choir of Germany and the Omaha Symphonic Chorus.
Dr. Jessop has a Bachelor of Science from Utah State University, 1973; Master of Arts from Brigham Young University, 1976; and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from Stanford University, 1980.
Anne Keiser has sung with The Choral Arts Society since 1975 and has served on its Board of Directors since 1988, twice serving as the Board Chair. For twenty-seven years she was a member of the Senior Choir at St. Alban’s Church under the direction of Norman Scribner who was also the Artistic Director of The Choral Arts Society of Washington. She received her BA in Music from Middlebury College in Vermont.
When not singing, Anne is a freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. She worked at The National Geographic Society as a photographer in the Society’s Television Division. Over many years, she documented the humanitarian efforts of famed Mount Everest climber, Sir Edmund Hillary and his work with the Sherpa people. She produced several books on this subject including Sir Edmund Hillary &The People of Everest that tied in with the fiftieth anniversary of the famous climb. Anne’s photography has focused on public health and conservation in third world countries.
As well as Chorus America, Anne serves on boards that relate to her interests in life, including The Choral Arts Society of Washington, The Greater Himalayas Foundation, The Middle East Institute, The Smithsonian Women’s Committee, the National Council of the World Wildlife Fund US and is currently Board President of The Washington Tennis & Education Foundation. She resides with her husband Doug Lapp, also a singer, in Washington DC.
Robyn Reeves Lana is the founder, managing artistic director, and conductor of the award-winning Cincinnati Children’s Choir (CCC), Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). At CCM, she sponsors undergraduate interns with the children’s choir and mentors graduate choral conducting students. Under her leadership, CCC has received the Scripps-Corbett Award and earned a gold medal in the 2012 World Choir Games.
Lana has directed international, state, and regional honor and festival choirs, including Florida (2014), Kentucky, Indiana, Minnesota (2013) Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, ACDA Southern Division Honor Choir, and at Carnegie Hall in 2013. She is a founding co-director of the Coastal Song Children’s Choir Festival, an annual national festival held in Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC. Her choirs have performed for state, regional, and national professional development conferences. She has presented workshops for the World Choir Games 2012, Music Educators National Conference regional conventions, Chamber Music America National Convention, Northeast Ohio Education Association, Orff Schulwerk workshops, and regionally at colleges and universities and Music Education Associations in Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
Lana regularly prepares her choirs for performance with the Cincinnati Symphony, the Cincinnati Pops, the Vocal Arts Ensemble, the Cincinnati May Festival, and CCM choirs and orchestras, as well as for two Telarc label recordings with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Erich Kunzel.
Jing Ling-Tam, Professor of Vocal Studies, has garnered international recognition in North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia. She has established herself internationally as a brilliant conductor and choral pedagogue. Ling-Tam has conducted over thirty- five All-State Choirs and numerous American Choral Directors Association national and divisional honor choirs. An innovative and much sought after clinician/master teacher, she has been featured as a headliner at prestigious international, national, regional and state choral conferences.
As Director of Choral Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington (1999-2009), her choirs performed at national and regional ACDA conferences, Texas Music Educators Association Conferences (1997 and 2001) and toured in the US, Mexico, Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Austria. Ling-Tam served as Associate Conductor/Chorus Master /Principal Coach Pianist for the Ft. Worth Opera Association for sixteen seasons, and was on the faculty at the American Institute of Musical Studies, Graz, Austria for eleven summers.
Ling-Tam’s recent credits include conducting the Taipei Symphony, the Coro de Madrigalistas of Mexico, and presenting workshops/lectures for the Children’s Palaces of NingBo, Xiamen and GuangZho in China; Festival 500, Newfoundland, the Ontario Vocal Festival & Choral Conductors' Symposium, Toronto, Podium 2008, New Brunswick, Canada; the 2006 International Youth Choral Festival, Hong Kong and the 2007 and 2009 Salzburg Pedagogical Institute Winter Workshops. Ling-Tam also served on juries for the 2007 Third World Children's Choral Festival, Hong Kong, the Spittal an der Drau 45th International Choral Competition in Austria, and the 2008 World Choir Games in Austria.
This past July, she made her Australian conducting debut with the 2010 Australian National Choral Association’s Honor Choir and was a member of the international jury for the 2010 World Choir Games in China. Currently, Prof. Ling-Tam is scheduled to conduct the 2010 New York All-State Choir, 2010 Washington All-State Choir, and 2010 Louisiana Youth All- State Choir. Prof. Ling-Tam serves on the board of Chorus America. A choral series in her name is published by Alliance Music of Houston, Texas
Mike McCarthy is the retired CEO of Williams Steel and Hardware in Minneapolis. He has served as Treasurer and Board Chair of the Dale Warland Singers, the American Composers Forum, and the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches; Treasurer and Board Member of VocalEssence, Chorus America and Connect/US-Russia; and a member of the advisory committee of the University of Minnesota’s School of Music.
He has also done bookkeeping, accounting and budgeting for several nonprofits, including Chorus America and the Dale Warland Singers. He and his wife Kay have commissioned a number of choral works, including “The World Beloved, a Bluegrass Mass” by Carol Barnett and “The Day is Done” by Stephen Paulus. Mike plays bass and banjo in a bluegrass band, a largely non-financial experience, and Kay is a professional quilter.
Brian Newhouse is the managing director of Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media’s classical programming, including SymphonyCast, Performance Today, Pipedreams, and other programs that reach a national audience of four million listeners each week. He holds degrees in voice and English from Luther College, and had an active professional singing career alongside his work in radio. The creator of MPR’s 24-hour online Choral Stream, he’s also a proud board member of Chorus America, the advocacy, research, and leadership development organization that gives voice to the choral field. He won a Peabody Award for writing the radio documentary The Mississippi: River of Song, and he’s the author of the memoir A Crossing. He also hosts the Friday night live broadcasts of the Minnesota Orchestra heard regionally on Classical Minnesota Public Radio. He and his family live in St. Paul.
Francisco J. Núñez is a composer, conductor, visionary, leading figure in music education, and the artistic director/founder of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award-winning Young People’s Chorus of New York City (YPC), renowned worldwide for its diversity and artistic excellence. Since its founding, Mr. Núñez has changed the perception of the capabilities of a children’s chorus, dramatically heightening an awareness of the unlimited potential of children to rise to unforeseen levels of artistry and establishing the youth chorus as a significant and often untapped instrument for making music.
Mr. Núñez has greatly expanded and invigorated the repertoire of choral music for young people through his Transient Glory commissioning series of concerts, CDs, symposia, and publications. In 2009, he extended Transient Glory to Radio Radiance, a broadcast/digital media program, presented in partnership with public radio. To date, almost 80 pieces of music have been commissioned and premiered by YPC through both programs.
Mr. Núñez also leads the University Glee Club of New York City, its fifth conductor since the all-men’s chorus was established in 1894 and is sought after nationwide as a guest conductor by professional orchestras and choirs, a master teacher and advisor, and a frequent keynote speaker as a leading authority on the role of music in achieving equality and diversity among children in today’s society. Mr. Núñez composes countless compositions and arrangements in all musical formats and styles for choirs, orchestras, and solo instruments.
As part of his efforts to further effect positive social change for young people and building upon his existing philosophy and methodology, Mr. Núñez has formed the Núñez Initiative for Social Change through the Choral Arts to develop an innovative strategy to promote social advocacy to choral conductors and music teachers across the nation through teacher training, workshops, and events.
Mr. Núñez, a MacArthur “genius” fellow, serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Chorus America. Among his many honors are an ASCAP Victor Herbert Award, the New York Choral Society’s Choral Excellence Award, and ABC-TV’s “Person of the Week.” His writings are published by Cambridge University Press and his music, by Boosey & Hawkes.
Until she retired in October 2010, Deborah (Debbie) Patel was the first Executive Director of Milwaukee Children's Choir (MCC). During her tenure, MCC’s contributed revenue, overall budget size, and financial reserve doubled, its administrative operations improved, MCC garnered better name recognition, and it was accepted as a member of Milwaukee’s United Performing Arts Fund, one of the largest such funds in the United States. Prior to her tenure at MCC she spent a year as Interim Executive Director of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the largest cultural organization in the State of Wisconsin.
A native of Minneapolis, Debbie graduated summa cum laude from Concordia College (Moorhead, MN), and holds a JD degree from George Washington Law School (D.C.), where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Law & Economics. Before becoming an arts administrator, Debbie practiced law at Foley & Lardner and was “Of Counsel” to Banta Corporation for many years.
Debbie is an active member of the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, where she spent many years in its professional core. She has participated in Carnegie Hall’s Professional Choral Workshops, and has been a soloist with the Handel & Haydn Society, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Chorus, and Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra. Debbie is a member and former president of Professional Dimensions, the leading professional women’s organization in Milwaukee.
Today Debbie enjoys a busy retirement. In addition to singing with the Milwaukee Symphony, Debbie is a member of the MSO's Chairmen's Council, is on the board of Milwaukee's Civic Music Association and Chorus America.
A member of the University of Alberta Department of Music faculty since 1981, Leonard Ratzlaff obtained his graduate degrees in choral conducting from the University of Iowa. His doctoral dissertation on Anton Bruckner’s Te Deum was awarded the Julius Herford Dissertation Award by ACDA. His duties at University of Alberta include supervising the graduate program in choral conducting and conducting the Madrigal Singers, a group that has distinguished itself at several national and international competitions and has produced five CD recordings. He recently completed a five-year term as chair of the Department.
In addition to his work with the Madrigal Singers, he directs the Richard Eaton Singers, a symphonic chorus that frequently collaborates with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and that has toured both in Canada and abroad. In recent years the choir has premiered new works for chorus and orchestra by Canadian composers John Estacio, Christos Hatzis and Allan Gilliland, as well as other choral works by Ruth Watson Henderson, Imant Raminsh and Mark Sirett. He has guest conducted the Alberta Baroque Ensemble, Calgary Bach Society, Edmonton Symphony, National Youth Choir of Canada, Pro Coro Canada, Spiritus Chamber Choir (Calgary), and the Winnipeg Singers. Honors include induction into the City of Edmonton Cultural Hall of Fame, the Alberta Order of Excellence, Order of Canada, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Ratzlaff is a frequent adjudicator, clinician and guest lecturer in Canada and the US. He is also a member of the board of directors of Chorus America.
Susan Erburu Reardon has served on the Board of the Los Angeles Master Chorale Association since March 1992 and as Vice Chair, Strategic Initiatives, since 2011. In September 2013, she joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association as its Director of Gift Planning.
Ms. Reardon has over 30 years of experience as an attorney, including with the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where she practiced law for seventeen years and was a firm litigation partner for seven years. She then served as a nonprofit executive for over fifteen years with KCET, the independent community public television resource for Southern and Central California (now KCETLink). Ms. Reardon joined KCET in 1997 as Senior Vice President and General Counsel. In 2004, she was promoted to Executive Vice President and General Counsel, assuming responsibility for obtaining grants from charitable foundations for programming, production and general operations. From December 2010 through October 2012, she served as Chief Development Officer at KCET, part of the three-person Office of the President. As such, she was responsible for management of KCET’s fundraising efforts, including major gifts, planned giving, foundations and government grants, membership, corporate underwriting, and special events. After her departure from KCET, Ms. Reardon created InCITE Nonprofit Advising, LLC to provide strategic advice to nonprofit organizations.
Ms. Reardon graduated with her A.B. in History magna cum laude from Radcliffe College (Harvard University) in 1977, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Iota of Massachusetts Chapter (now Alpha Iota of Massachusetts), in her Junior year, and received her J.D. in 1980 from Harvard Law School. Her numerous community activities include serving as Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of Idyllwild Arts Foundation, which supports the Idyllwild Summer Program and the Idyllwild Arts Academy, providing pre-professional training in the arts and a comprehensive college preparatory curriculum for young artists; as a member of the Board of Directors of the Radcliffe Choral Society Foundation; and as a director of the Pfaffinger Foundation. Ms. Reardon and her husband George currently pursue their lifelong avocation as choral singers with the Los Robles Master Chorale, conducted by Artistic Director Lesley Leighton. For 27 years, they were members of the St. Charles Borromeo Choir, conducted by Paul Salamunovich.
Stanley E. Romanstein, Ph.D. is an accomplished nonprofit executive with 22 years of leadership and management experience in education and the arts, most recently at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Previously as President and CEO of the Minnesota Humanities Center, he focused the Center’s mission around clear, measurable objectives, consistent with the agency’s history and mandate. He developed a strategic plan to fulfill that mission, and articulated the mission to audiences throughout Minnesota. Prior to that position, Stanley was Director of Development at the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis; Executive Director of the Baltimore School for the Arts and Baltimore School for the Arts Foundation; and Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Music at St. Lawrence University.
A singer, and native of South Carolina, Dr. Romanstein grew up in a household of music — both parents were also singers, and his mother a pianist. After earning his undergraduate degree in music, he went on to the University of Cincinnati’s Conservatory of Music to earn his master’s degree in conducting, and a Ph.D. in musicology. He has also lived in Cincinnati, Jerusalem, New York, Florence, Baltimore, Romania, and spent time as a Fulbright Scholar first for a year of study at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and later in Japan.
André J. Thomas, the Owen F. Sellers Professor of Music, is Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Choral Music Education at Florida State University. A previous faculty member at the University of Texas, Austin, Dr. Thomas received his degrees from Friends University (BA), Northwestern University (MM), and the University of Illinois (DMA). He is in demand as a choral adjudicator, clinician, and director of Honor/All-State Choirs throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, New Zealand, and Australia.
Thomas has conducted choirs at the state, division, and national conventions of the Music Educators National Conference (MENC) and American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). His international conducting credits are extensive. They include conductor/clinician for the International Federation for Choral Music, summer residency of the World Youth Choir in the Republic of China and the Philippines, winter residency of the World Youth Choir in Europe, and a premiere performance by an American choir (Florida State University Singers) in Vietnam. He has been the guest conductor of such distinguished orchestras and choirs as the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Radio Choir, the Netherlands Radio Choir, the Charlotte Symphony, Tallahassee Symphony, China’s People’s Liberation Orchestra and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Since 1988, he has also served as Artistic Director of the Tallahassee Community Chorus.
Thomas has also distinguished himself as a composer/arranger. Hinshaw Music Company, Mark Foster Music Company, Fitzsimons Music Company, Lawson Gould, earthsongs, Choristers Guild, and Heritage Music Company publish his compositions and arrangements. In addition to his music and several instructional videos, he also recently published a book: Way Over in Beulah Lan’: Understanding and Performing the Negro Spiritual.
Karen P. Thomas, composer and conductor, is the Artistic Director and Conductor of Seattle Pro Musica, with whom she has produced ten critically-acclaimed commercial CD recordings, and has received the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence and the ASCAP-Chorus America Award for Adventuresome Programming of Contemporary Music. With Seattle Pro Musica she has collaborated with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and co-hosted the 2013 Chorus America National Conference.
She has appeared as guest conductor at numerous festivals and has presented lectures for the American Guild of Organists National Convention, the Chorus America Conference, the American Choral Directors Association, and the World Festival of Women’s Singing. She has guest conducted at international festivals in Europe and North America, at the Berkshire Choral Festival, and for conventions of the American Choral Director’s Association and the American Guild of Organists, and has been lauded for her “charismatic...magnetic podium presence.”
Ms. Thomas is a recipient of composition grants and awards from the NEA, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and ASCAP, among others. Her commissions include works for the Grand Jubilee in Rome, the American Guild of Organists, and the Association of Anglican Musicians. Thomas' compositions are regularly performed internationally, by groups such as The Hilliard Ensemble and The Vocal Consort of Brussels, among numerous others. She currently serves on the Seattle Music Commission, and on the boards of the American Choral Directors Association (NW Region), the Greater Seattle Choral Consortium, and the Seattle Girl’s Choir, and recently completed her term on the Board of Governors for the Recording Academy (Grammy - Pacific NW). She is the recipient of the 2012 ACDA Washington State Outstanding Choral Conductor Award.
Duain Wolfe has served as the Director and Conductor of the Chicago Symphony Chorus since 1994, preparing the chorus for performances with many of the world’s most renowned orchestral conductors. His work resulted in a Grammy for Best Opera with Sir Georg Solti in 1998. He also won two Grammys for his recording of Verdi’s REQUIEM with Riccardo Muti in 2010 – Best Choral and Best Classical. He has conducted over 200 performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, including outstanding performances of the Brahms REQUIEM for the ACDA National Conference in Chicago. Mr. Wolfe also serves as conductor of the Colorado Symphony Chorus (which he founded in 1984) and directs choral performances for the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Canada. He is also the Founder of the Colorado Children’s Chorale, and for twenty years served as staff conductor of the Central City Opera Festival.