Denison University Choral Director To Conduct at Carnegie Hall
Posted: March 1, 2007
Denison University Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities Bonnie Borshay Sneed will make her conducting debut at Carnegie Hall on Monday, March 12, with the New England Symphonic Ensemble and singers from four high school choirs in Oklahoma, Texas and Alabama.
Being onstage at the premier classical music performance space in the United States is not a new experience for Sneed, since she was one of 100 U.S. singers selected to perform at Carnegie Hall under the direction of renowned choral conductor Robert Shaw in 1996. "Having the opportunity to conduct this group of 150 high school students in Carnegie Hall is very exciting," says Sneed, "particularly since one of the high school choir directors is a former student of mine." The group will sing Vivaldi's "Gloria," which ranks alongside Handel's "Messiah," and Bach's "Magnificat" as a much loved choral piece. Sneed conducted the Denison University Concert Choir, Chamber Singers and Denison Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Vivaldi's "Gloria" in Swasey Chapel last December. "Despite the fact that Vivaldi lived from 1678 to 1741, much of his music was rediscovered in 1951 when he was honored as a Baroque master at Britain's Royal Festival," explains Sneed.
MidAmerica Productions (MAP) presents the ongoing musical series at Carnegie Hall. Sneed's consistent performances of major works with orchestras and choirs in three states led MAP to invite her to conduct in Carnegie Hall in the Isaac Stern Auditorium that accommodates up to 2,804 people.
She was associate professor of music at University of Alabama in Huntsville from 1991 to 2003 and choral director at Oklahoma Baptist University from 2003 until 2005 when she joined Denison's Department of Music. Sneed earned a bachelor's degree from Furman University, a master's degree in choral conducting from Southern Methodist University and a doctorate in choral conducting from Michigan State University. She is a frequent clinician and adjudicator for high school choral workshops and choral contests, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the American Choral Director's Association and the National Collegiate Choral Organization. She has held numerous church positions as both director and accompanist. At Denison she conducts the Denison Chamber Singers, Concert Choir and Women's Choir and teaches Conducting and Introduction to Music.
In 2005, National Music Publishing printed her arrangement for choir and chamber orchestra of the finale to Mahler's "Symphony No. 2." In January 2006, she toured Florence, Milan and Venice, Italy, with the Denison Chamber Singers and Chamber Orchestra, accompanied by Music Department colleagues Andy Carlson, Ching-chu Hu and Nicholas del Grazia. In August, Sneed was guest soloist and conductor for a series of Evensong performances in Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, England.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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