Choralfest South

March 13-17 • Knox United Church 
Evaluators • Richard Sparks, TBA, TBA

All Choralfest South 2017 performances are open to the public. Admission is by donation!

Festival Evaluators

Richard Sparks is currently Full Professor and Chair of the Division of Conducting & Ensembles at the University of North Texas in Denton Texas, having joined the faculty in 2009. He was Artistic Director of Pro Coro Canada (Edmonton, AB) from 1999 to 2011 and with them toured across Canada and broadcast on CBC Radio. He was also the first non-Canadian conductor to direct the Canadian National Youth Choir in 2006, and in 2008 he was Music Director for a staged production of Monteverdi’s opera Orfeo in Edmonton with period instruments. 

He was a faculty member at Mount Holyoke College and Pacific Lutheran University, where he was Director of Choral Activities from 1983-2001. Sparks’ DMA is from the University of Cincinnati and his dissertation (Swedish A Cappella Music Since 1945) won the ACDA’s Julius Herford Award in 1997 and was later published as The Swedish Choral Miracle.  Sparks has been active in the professional world, guest conducting the Anchorage Music Festival (his first year substituting for an ailing Robert Shaw conducting Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem), Portland Symphonic Choir, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, Exultate Chamber Singers in Toronto, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and the Swedish Radio Choir. He first worked with the Swedish Radio Choir in 2002, and again in 2007 and 2008, the first North American in more than 35 years to work with that ensemble. With the Radio Choir, he conducted their Spring concert in 2008 and prepared them for a variety of performances, including the Brahms Requiem for Valery Gergiev and the Rotterdam Philharmonic, which was released on DVD on the BIS label.

He founded Seattle Pro Musica and led three ensembles from 1973-80 in over 70 concerts; conducted the Seattle Symphony Chorale from 1990-94 (preparing the choir for nine recordings on the Delos label, many now on Naxos); founded and conducted Choral Arts in Seattle from 1993-2006 (with whom he made three recordings on the Gothic label). Since coming to UNT he has led the Collegium Singers to the Boston Early Music Festival three times, the National Collegiate Choral Organization’s Conference, and also the Berkeley Early Music Festival. The Collegium Singers/Baroque Orchestra performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria, led by Sparks, now has one and a half million hits on YouTube.



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