Photos from Norfolk Choral Festival

A little Throwback Thursday for you: enjoy these photos from this past summer’s Choral Conducting Workshop at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival/Yale Summer School of Music.


Above: Simon Carrington, center,with the ten Conducting Fellows.

Below: Daniel Schlosberg (whose new piece was premiered) with the orchestra players.


Photos by Thomas Murray.

Published October 3, 2013
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Bravo! Ariane Abela uses music to help and inspire

By Cheryl Dellecese
Alumnae Association of Smith College

Arianne Abela ’08 had no intention of becoming a conductor until she came to Smith. Though music had always been a major part of her life (she sang in the San Francisco Girls Chorus for many years), she grew up as a left leg amputee and missing most of her fingers on both hands. “My hands have always been my greatest insecurity,” she says.

But all that has changed. Abela, conductor of 3 Penny Chorus and Orchestra, has spent the summer competing on television’s America’s Got Talent with the ensemble she founded with Yale School of Music classmate Colin Britt. The 55-person, all-volunteer group includes professional musicians, but also individuals of all ages and from all walks of life. The goal of the orchestra is to perform pop music with a classical twist. “We want to show people that you don’t have to love just one kind of music,” says Abela.  MORE

Published September 9, 2013
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Dominick DiOrio: WFIU’s Featured Artist for July

WFIU Arts & Music
By Anna Coogan

WFIU’s featured artist for the month of July is choral conductor Dominick DiOrio. An Assistant Professor of Music in the Jacobs School of Music, DiOrio was educated at Ithaca College and Yale University.

DiOrio is the director of the Indiana University Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, a group dedicated to the performance of new works for choir. He also teaches conducting and supervises the master’s level choral conducting program. His teaching career began at Lone Star College in Montgomery, Texas, where in just three years, he tripled enrollment in the choral program.

In 2009, DiOrio was one of only 12 conductors invited to Sweden to compete for the Eric Ericson award, the world’s highest honor for choral conductors. In 2012, he made his Carnegie Hall debut as a fellow of the Carnegie Hall Choral Institute. DiOrio has guest conducted choirs including the American Bach Soloists, the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, and the Academy Chamber Choir of Uppsala, Sweden. DiOrio has prepared choruses for performances under conductors including Helmuth Rilling, Valery Gergiev, and Nicholas McGegan.

As an advocate for new music, DiOrio has premiered works by composers including Zachary Wadsworth, Tawnie Olson and Dewey Fleszar. DiOrio is also active as a composer of works for choir, including the opera Klytemnestra, produced in collaboration with Divergence Vocal Theater. He has received awards for his compositions from the American Choral Directors Association, ASCAP, and the Yale Glee Club.

WFIU will feature performances led by DiOrio in our classical music programming throughout the month of July.

Published July 1, 2013
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Adrianna Tam selected for Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange

Choral conducting student accepted to program in Germany for 2013–2014 

tam_adriannaYale School of Music student Adrianna Tam ’13MM has been selected to participate in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX), a year-long, federally-funded fellowship for study and work in Germany. Ms. Tam, along with Yale alumna Lauren Motzkin ’12BA, was one of 75 participants selected (from over 600 applicants) for this unique fellowship program.

Since 1984, over 1,650 Americans have been awarded this opportunity to gain cultural, theoretical, and practical work experience in Germany. 2013–2014 marks the thirtieth year of the CBYX program.

A native of Texas, Adrianna Tam graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in music. At MIT, she was an Emerson Fellow, Burchard Scholar, Arts Scholar, and the 2011 recipient of the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts. This past summer she was selected to be a conducting fellow at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, where she studied with Simon Carrington.  She is currently concluding a Master of Music degree in choral conducting at Yale, where she sings with Yale Schola Cantorum, the Yale Camerata, and Pro Musica, and serves as an alto section leader for the Battell Chapel Choir.

While in Germany on CBYX, participants will attend a two-month intensive German language course, study at a German university or professional school for four months, and complete a five-month internship with a German company in their career fields. Participants are placed throughout Germany, and have the opportunity to learn about everyday German life from a variety of perspectives.

Conceived and supported by members of the United States Congress and the German Bundestag (Parliament, the CBYX program is financially supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State under the authority of the Fulbright-Hays Act. Participants come from nearly every career field, and from all over the United States.

Published April 22, 2013
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David Hill to join choral conducting faculty at YSM and ISM

David Hill has been appointed Professor (Adj.) of Choral Conducting in the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale School of Music and as Principal Conductor of the Yale Schola Cantorum. Martin Jean, the director of the ISM, made the announcement earlier this week. The three-year term of the joint appointment begins July 1, 2013.

At Yale, Hill will serve as principal conductor of Yale Schola Cantorum, as well as participate in the training of choral conducting majors with Profs. Marguerite L. Brooks and Jeffrey Douma, and with Masaaki Suzuki, who will remain affiliated with Schola Cantorum as Principal Guest Conductor. MORE

Published January 11, 2013
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Masaaki Suzuki to receive Bach Medal 2012

The 2012 Bach Medal, awarded by the city of Leipzig, was presented to the Japanese conductor, organist, and harpsichordist Masaaki Suzuki on June 8, at a ceremony during the Leipzig Bach Festival. Suzuki, the founder and director of Bach Collegium Japan, is a member of the Yale faculty and the director of Yale Schola Cantorum.

The Bach Medal is awarded annually since 2003 to musicians whose work focuses on Bach in a significant way.  The jury, which voted unanimously in favor of Suzuki, noted that Suzuki has made particularly significant contributions to the dissemination of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach in his homeland of Japan.

Bach Collegium Japan was the first Japanese ensemble to specialize in historically-informed performance practice. The jury’s decision stated, in part: “concerning the repertoire of Bach, which has always been much-appreciated in Japan… [Suzuki has] created an awareness for a scientifically and historically oriented performance practice in Japan and the entire Asian region.”

The Bach Medal was awarded during a public ceremony on Friday, June 8 in Leipzig’s Old City Hall. Later that day, Suzuki and the Bach Collegium Japan played at St. Thomas Church, where Suzuki directed a performance of the Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244b, in the version from 1729. The soloists will be Hana Blažiková, Rachel Nicholls (soprano), Robin Blaze (contralto), Gerd Türk (tenor – Evangelist), and Peter Kooij (bass). MORE

Published June 11, 2012
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Dominick DiOrio ’12DMA to join faculty of Indiana University

Dominick DiOrio ’08MM, ’09MMA, ’12DMA has accepted a tenure-track position at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University for next fall. DiOrio will be Assistant Professor of Music in the choral conducting department.

“I am so excited about this new opportunity,” said DiOrio, “and I can’t wait to move to Bloomington to start this next stage of my career.”

Dominick DiOrio is currently Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music at Lone Star College-Montgomery. He is also a composer, and this year he was named the winner of the 2012 Yale Glee Club Emerging Composers Competition. His new a cappella work Ode to Purcell, scored for SATB chorus and SATB solo quartet, will be premiered in November 2012.

For more information, visit his website.

Published May 18, 2012
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Patrick Quigley ’02MM receives two Grammy nominations

Patrick Quigley ’02MM, a choral conducting major who studied with Marguerite Brooks at the School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music, received two Grammy nominations this year.

Quigley is the founding artistic director of Seraphic Fire, a national ensemble of professional singers. His nominations are in two categories for two different projects. The awards will be announced in February 2012.

For the recording of the Brahms Requiem, nominated in the category of Best Choral Performance, Seraphic Fire was joined by the Professional Choral Institute and pianists Scott Allen Jarret and Justin Blackwell. Among the vocal soloists was baritone Paul Max Tipton, a 2010 graduate of the vocal program at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale School of Music.

A Seraphic Fire Christmas, a collection of traditional Christmas carols and music heard at King’s College, Cambridge, was nominated in the category of Best Small Ensemble Performance.

In eight seasons, Patrick Dupré Quigley has built Seraphic Fire into a nationally recognized ensemble, now considered one of Miami’s five major performing arts institutions. Mr. Quigley has commissioned and premiered numerous works, including the Pulitzer Prize-nominated Road from Hiroshima: A Requiem by Shawn Crouch and the acoustic version of Ingram Marshall’s Hymnodic Delays. Known for its high-quality and exciting performances of baroque and new music, Seraphic Fire is also the first classical ensemble since the Benedictine Monks of Silos to reach the Top Ten on the Billboard Pop Charts, appearing with international pop-star Shakira on her platinum-selling album Oral Fixation 2.

Published December 1, 2011
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Yale to host National Collegiate Choral Organization conference


Yale University will host the third National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) conference on November 5-7, 2009. The event will feature a broad variety of activities: concerts by Yale and visiting choirs, open rehearsals, lectures, panel discussions, and meetings of national officers and board members. One of of the weekend’s featured events will be the East Coast premiere of Aaron Jay Kernis’s new choral symphony, the Symphony of Meditations, on Friday, November 6. Kernis himself will conduct the performance, which will bring together the Yale Philharmonia, Yale Camerata, Yale Glee Club, and Yale Schola Cantorum. The concert will take place in Woolsey Hall at 8 pm; click here for more details.

Visiting choirs include the Vassar College Women’s Chorus (Christine Howlett, conductor), Centenary College Camerata (Julia Thorn, conductor), the Colorado State University Chamber Choir (James Kim, conductor), Indiana University of Pennsylvania Chorus (James Tearing, conductor), SUNY Oneonta Chamber Singers (Timothy Newton, conductor), the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum (Jameson Marvin, conductor), the Smith College Glee Club (Jonathan Hirsh, conductor), the University of Maryland Chamber Singers (Edward Maclary, conductor), Mansfield University Concert Choir (Peggy Tettwiler, conductor), the University of  Missouri University Singers (R. Paul Graham, conductor), Utah State University Chamber Singesr (Cory Evans, conductor), and the California State University Long Beach Chamber Choir (Jonathan Talberg, conductor).

The NCCO is an organization serving college and university choral conductors. It held its first conference in 2006 in San Antonio, and the second conference took place in 2008 at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. With a membership of over 400, the organization’s mission is to address the specific needs of college and university choral musicians. Click here for a conference schedule, or visit the NCCO’s website.

Published October 22, 2009
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Beverly Shangkuan ’10MM wins national choral conducting competition

Beverly ShangkuanBeverly Shangkuan ’10MM, a graduate conducting student at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale School of Music, won the American Choral Directors Association National Convention Graduate Conducting competition this past weekend in Oklahoma City. Shangkuan competed against other finalists from the University of Arizona, University of Colorado, Eastman School of Music,  University of Michigan, Penn State, Rutgers, and University of Southern California.

This is the third consecutive win for Yale students at these conventions, which occur every other year: Soo-yeon Lee won the competition at the last National Convention in Miami 2007, and Kimberly Dunn gained second prize in Los Angeles in 2005. MORE

Published March 13, 2009
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