Jameson Marvin to Retire from Harvard University

The Office for the Arts at Harvard (OFA) and the Harvard University Department of Music announced today that Dr. Jameson Marvin will retire his position as Director of Choral Activities at Harvard, which he has held for over 30 years. Marvin has a joint appointment in the OFA and Music Department, serving the latter as a Senior Lecturer on Music. His final year of service will be 2009-2010, with a leave scheduled for 2010-2011.

"Jim Marvin has been a standard bearer for excellence in choral singing for over three decades at Harvard," said Jack Megan, Director of the Office for the Arts at Harvard. "His knowledge of vocal literature and stylistic considerations through the centuries is vast. His enormous passion, impeccable technique, musical sensitivity and attention to every detail have benefited many student singers and concert patrons over the years. He inherited a rich choral tradition from his illustrious predecessors and deepened it in a way that would make all of them proud."

Jameson Marvin was appointed Director of Choral Activities and Senior Lecturer on Music at Harvard University in 1978. He is responsible for the choral program at Harvard and conducts the Harvard Glee Club, the Radcliffe Choral Society, and the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum, and teaches courses in Choral Conducting, Masterpieces of Choral Literature, and Renaissance Performance Practices.

"Jim Marvin has made choral singing a lifelong passion for generations of students," noted Anne C. Shreffler, James Edward Ditson Professor of Music and Chair of the Music Department. "In his 30 years at Harvard, he has inspired all of us with his enthusiasm, his insistence on the highest musical standards, and his deep knowledge of musical styles from the Renaissance to the present." Thomas Forrest Kelly, Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music, added, "Jim leaves Harvard enriched with his music; we will miss him as a friend and a colleague. But the thousands of people who have been inspired by his quest for excellence are mostly not here—they are all over the world, and Jim has enriched countless singers and listeners with his unique sound."

Prior to his appointment at Harvard Dr. Marvin was Director of Choral Music at Vassar College and Conductor of the Cappella Festival Chamber Choir and Orchestra. He has held conducting and teaching appointments at Bard College, Lehigh University and the University of Illinois. In 1984, he was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University and Cambridge University, England, and on a sabbatical in 1998, he gave master classes to graduate choral programs on topics ranging from conducting and rehearsing to analysis and interpretation.

Over the past 35 years, Dr. Marvin has conducted some 80 symphonic-choral works while developing a national reputation as a conductor, teacher, author, and scholar. He served on the national committee for the selection of conducting candidates for Fulbright Fellowships and is General Editor of the Oxford University Press Renaissance Choral Series for Men’s and Women’s Voices. Dr. Marvin's Harvard choral ensembles have appeared at six national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association.

Dr. Marvin received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Composition from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a Master of Arts in Choral Conducting from Stanford University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Music from the University of Illinois. The Boston Globe has called Dr. Marvin "a musician of consummate mastery."

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