Chorus America's Director Laureate award is an honorary title established in 2012 to recognize individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership as a member of Chorus America's board of directors and had significant impact on the choral field. It is given periodically to an individual selected according to criteria including leadership, impact on Chorus America and the choral field, financial support, longevity of service, and ambassadorial role.
Alice Parker, composer, conductor, and teacher, is a passionate believer in the transformative powers of choral singing. We focus all of our gifts in a unique way when we join our voices with others, leading both to personal fulfillment and the creation of a community spirit that breaks down barriers and unites us as human beings. Her own compositional voice is directed toward simplicity and transparency; the basic materials are folk songs of many traditions, and wonderful poetry. She is a graduate of Smith College and Juilliard, with five honorary doctorates, traveling all over the United States and Canada leading performances and workshops. The Melodious Accord Fellowship Program brings conductors, composers, song leaders and music lovers to her home for small-group, intensive study. Learn more at her website: www.melodiousaccord.org
In addition to serving as the music director of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Tom Hall is also a broadcaster, teacher, lecturer, and writer. He is invited frequently to speak to professional and community organizations, including the Oregon Bach Festival, American Choral Directors Association, the College Endowment Association, the Baltimore Broadcaster’s Coalition, The Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute, the Johns Hopkins Community Conversations Series, and the Ewald Symposium of Sweetbriar College. He has interviewed prominent authors and artists at the Baltimore City Lit Festival, the Baltimore Book Festival, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Walters Art Museum. In addition, he serves frequently as a panelist for the National Endowment of the Arts.
Hall is also the culture editor and co-host of Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast and the host of Choral Arts Classics on WYPR radio in Baltimore. He has appeared frequently on WBJC’s Face the Music and WEAA’s Marc Steiner Show. Hall served as the host of the Maryland Morning Screen Test from 2010-2012. In 2006, he received an Emmy Award for Christmas with Choral Arts which is broadcast annually on WMAR television. In 2007, he was named Best New Broadcast Journalist by the Maryland Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and in 2009, the Baltimore City Paper named him Best Local Radio Personality. For the past 31 years, he has been the director of choral activities at Goucher College and has lectured at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Peabody Conservatory, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Baltimore, Towson University, Morgan State University, and the Johns Hopkins University. Hall previously served as president of the board of Chorus America and has been an artist-in-residence at the Eastman School of Music, Indiana University, Temple University, and Syracuse University.
Director of Choral Studies and Conducting and Professor of Music at the UC’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), Earl Rivers’ graduate conducting program has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the U.S.A.’s leading programs. Rivers served for 20 seasons, 1998-2008, as Music Director and Conductor of Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble, championing new works, hosting visiting composers, and developing artistic partnerships with Cincinnati arts organizations and children’s and youth choirs. In the recent 2014-15 season Rivers celebrated 40 years as Director of Music at Cincinnati’s Knox Presbyterian Church and premiered at Knox three newly commissioned works by Robert Beaser (sponsored by Soli Dei Gloria’s Psalm’s Project), Stephen Cleobury and Dale Warland.
Recent guest conducting includes the Mozart Requiem in Vienna; J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor with South Korea’s Chang Won City Chorale and Orchestra; the Festival of the Aegean in Syros, Greece; Arvo Pärt’s Berliner Mass with South Korea's Inchon City Chorale; Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and John Rutter’s Requiem in Carnegie Hall; and a residency and concert at the Sichuan Conservatory in Chengdu, China. Rivers served as Artistic Director USA for the World Choir Games Cincinnati 2012. He leads the Beethoven Mass in C in Florence, Italy at the June 2016 Festival Annuale dei Grandi Cori Americani Città di Firenze.
Rivers received the 2004 Chorus America Michael Korn Founders Award for Development of the Professional Choral Art.