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Holden Choruses Announce New Staff

May 31st, 2012 1 comment

Andrew Clark, Director of Choral Activities at Harvard University, has announced changes in organizational structure for the Holden Choruses, comprising the Harvard Glee Club, Radcliffe Choral Society, Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum and the Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus.

Beginning in academic year 2012-13, the Glee Club, Choral Society and Collegium Musicum will each have its own dedicated Resident Conductor who will maintain approximately one-third of the leadership of his or her respective ensemble, with Clark maintaining two-thirds of the leadership.

Beth Willer, Resident Conductor of the Radcliffe Choral Society

Two of these individuals have previously worked with the choral program as Assistant Conductors: Beth Willer, Resident Conductor of the Radcliffe Choral Society; and Joseph Fort, Resident Conductor of the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum. Joining them is Harris Ipock, Resident Conductor of the Harvard Glee Club.

Clark also announced that a permanent Artistic Director will be appointed for the Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus, the first in its history. Next year, Gund University Organist and Choirmaster Edward Elwyn Jones will serve as Artistic Director ad interim until the search is completed for a permanent conductor.

Finally, Clark announced that Michael Pfitzer has been appointed Choral Associate, a new position combining the previous posts of Choral Administrator and Assistant Conductor. In this capacity, Pfitzer will serve as the Assistant Conductor and Administrative Manager for the Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus and provide artistic support for all of the choral ensembles. Additionally, he will administer the Holden Voice Program, organize special projects and new initiatives, and lead recruiting efforts and various fundraising activities.

“This new staffing structure will offer more concentrated artistic leadership for each individual choir, provide essential administrative support, and maintain continuity for the entire choral program,” said Clark, whose position is a dual appointment under the auspices of the Office for the Arts at Harvard and the Department of Music. “And with this new structure, Harvard now plays a significant role in developing the future leaders of major choral programs in the United States.”

Joseph Fort, Resident Conductor of the Collegium Musicum

Biographies:

Resident Conductor of the Collegium Musicum Joseph Fort‘s musical endeavors straddle the worlds of both performance and scholarship; he combines his new post with life as a graduate student, pursuing a PhD in Music Theory at Harvard. He also serves as a Resident Tutor in Eliot House. As an organist Fort has recorded and performed on UK and U.S. radio, and has on occasion performed in this capacity with the University Choir at Memorial Church. He has also worked with other ensembles in the area, including the Tufts University Chorale and the Concord Chorus. Fort is a graduate of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, UK, where he was the organ scholar, directing the chapel choir in its twice-weekly services and on tours to Ireland, Italy, Mexico (with two televised performances) and North America.

Resident Conductor of the Harvard Glee Club Harris Ipock comes to Harvard from the Eastman School of Music, where he is currently completing a doctoral degree in a program that typically selects one applicant each year. Recently, he has served on the faculty of Hobart and William Smith Colleges and has guest-conducted performances with the Virginia Chorale and Voices. An active baritone soloist and chorister, Ipock appears regularly with ensembles throughout North America and performed numerous professional operatic roles. He holds degrees in vocal performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and in choral conducting from East Carolina University, where he studied with Daniel Bara. Ipock has worked for over ten years in church music and has participated in conducting workshops with Anton Armstrong, Joseph Flummerfelt, Simon Carrington, and Dale Warland. In addition to his responsibilities with the Glee Club, Ipock will join the faculty of the Holden Voice Program this fall.

Harris Ipock, Resident Conductor of the Harvard Glee Club

Resident Conductor of the Radcliffe Choral Society Beth Willer served as the Society’s Assistant Conductor since 2008. Willer currently serves on the faculty of The Boston Conservatory as director of the Women’s Chorus and as the Founder and Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed Lorelei Ensemble. Committed to the expansion of repertoire for advanced women’s vocal ensembles, ensembles under Willer’s direction have delivered numerous premieres, while working to expose lesser-known works of the Renaissance and Baroque periods for women’s voices. A doctoral student in conducting at Boston University, Willer holds degrees from Boston University and Luther College and has previously served as conductor of the New England Conservatory Youth Chorale and Youth Camerata, the Walnut Hill School Chorus, and as conductor and vocal music staff at the Boston Arts Academy.

Choral Associate Michael Pfitzer is the Director of Music at First Parish Church in Stow, MA where he leads a vibrant church music program and conducts the Adult and Youth Choirs. Pfitzer also serves as the Assistant Conductor of the Cambridge Community Chorus and recently taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he conducted the University Chorus and Masters Singers. In addition, Pfitzer has conducted numerous musical theater and opera productions in the United States and France. Experienced in arts management, he is currently the administrator for the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum Foundation and was a production staff member at Tufts University’s Granoff Music Center. Pfitzer earned a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied with Beverly Taylor, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and History from Tufts University.

Michael Pfitzer, Choral Associate

For more information about the Holden Choruses and choral activities at Harvard, visit the website or contact via email at holdenchoruses@gmail.com