"With deep admiration for its exceptional history, and in joyful anticipation of its new beginnings, I am delighted to join The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay this year as their 2017-2018 Visiting Artistic Director. It will be a great pleasure for me to work with these devoted and faithful singers in collaboration with Michael Francis and The Florida Orchestra for a brilliant season of musical masterpieces and innovative community engagement."
- Doreen Rao
Dr. Rao is celebrated internationally for her moving concerts, inspirational teaching and ground-breaking choral publications. Her pioneering career changed the landscape of music education in America. Linking the standards of performance and the goals of education with the values of diversity and social responsibility, Rao's seminal work teaching children to sing inspired a generation of conductors and teachers to lead young choirs in schools and communities around the world. In a national tribute presented to her by the American Choral Directors Association, the eminent conductor Robert Shaw wrote: "The world of choral music owes her special thanks. She is preparing our future."
"We are thrilled to welcome Doreen Rao while we complete our search for a permanent Artistic Director and prepare for our 40th Anniversary," said Robert Hicks, Board Chairman. "Doreen brings a tremendous wealth of experience in conducting, guiding, and inspiring symphonic choirs which will continue to propel The Master Chorale forward during this important artistic leadership transition."
"Doreen is thoughtfully passionate about conducting and preparing exquisite choral music," added Kara Dwyer, Managing Director. "Doreen's persistent attention to the highest standards of artistic excellence added to her innovative and diverse community engagement plans deeply resonates with The Master Chorale's vision and core values. We couldn't be more pleased with her appointment."
Stay tuned for our full schedule announcement and information about our Summer Sing and Master Chorale Auditions, both taking place at the University of South Florida School of Music later this summer.
About Doreen Rao
From 2008, Rao served as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, and then the Buffalo Master Chorale working in close collaboration with artists and educators throughout Western New York including the Buffalo Philharmonic and Chautauqua Institute Symphony Orchestras. For her inspirational leadership in Western New York, Rao was named Buffalo Woman of Influence. In 2012 the WNY Gospel Music Association named her Music Director of the Year.
During Rao's long association with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, she prepared the Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus - Anima for concerts and four Grammy Award-winning recordings. She also served as Assistant Conductor to Margaret Hillis, preparing the Chicago Symphony Chorus for Sir Georg Solti, Claudio Abbado, James Levine. Her young choirs performed regularly with Leonard Slatkin and the St. Louis Symphony, the Grant Park Orchestra, and with Helmuth Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival.
Rao is the Founder-Director Emeritus of CME Institute for Choral Teacher Education, a professional development and choral certification program for emerging conductors and choral music teachers now led by the talented Dr. Sandra Snow. Her distinguished history of commissioning and premiering new choral music championed a new generation of American and Canadian composers including Daniel Brewbaker, David Brunner and Stephen Hatfield.
As editor and choral advisor to music publisher Boosey & Hawkes, Rao's award-winning Choral Music Experience series of music and educational textbooks helped set the standards for quality concert repertoire for American music education. Her popular edition of Leonard Bernstein's MASS met with unprecedented accolades: "Rao's performing edition should be widely heard by audiences everywhere, though it might be foolish to expect a better performance than the one Rao gave tonight."
Rao regularly conducts choral festivals, music conferences, and special events worldwide. She received the prestigious Harold A. Decker Award, presented by the Illinois-ACDA to an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to the field of choral music. The Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia awarded Rao their National Citation for her "significant and lasting contribution to the cause of American music." The American Choral Directors Association has honored Rao for her "commitment to choral excellence" and a CBS television documentary called her musical achievements "extraordinary."
Taught by her beloved teachers, Harold Decker and Colleen Kirk, at the University of Illinois, Doreen earned her PhD from Northwestern University and was generously mentored by Margaret Hillis and Robert Shaw during the formative years of her career. Doreen lives in Chicago where she enjoys a vibrant urban lifestyle with family and friends while continuing to conduct and teach worldwide.
www.doreenrao.com | www.choralmusicexperience.com