Montclair State University Singers
The Montclair State University Singers is a mixed-voice elective choir comprising undergraduate and graduate students who are experienced singers and musicians. Students from all schools/colleges in the University in good academic standing may audition. The University Singers performs a wide variety of sacred and secular repertoire, encompassing genres from the Renaissance to the 21st Century, with special interest in contemporary composers. Previous season highlights include New York Choral Festival Showcase Concerts performances at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall, Prelude Concert performances for the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s annual Winter Festivals, and tours of Central Europe and Russia with performances in Prague, Budapest, Bratislava, Debrecen, Moscow, Pushkin and St. Petersburg. World Premiere performances include Madison’s Descent (Mícheál ÓSúílleabháin), That Music Always Round Me (Tarik O’Regan), Ave Maria, A White Blossom, and She Walks in Beauty (Martin A. Sedek), and the 2012 Raymond Brock Memorial Commission Distance can’t keep us two apart by Chen Yi. The University Singers has also established an exciting performance relationship with renowned composer-artist Meredith Monk beginning with their historic collaboration in December 2006 and continuing with the critically acclaimed March 2009 performances of Ascension Variations at the Guggenheim Museum. They recorded the CD Songs of Ascension with Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble on the prestigious European label ECM Records under the legendary producer Manfred Eicher, released May 2011. This collaboration was included in the Producer of the Year section of the 2012 Grammy nominations. Recent season highlights include their ACDA Eastern Division Convention debut performance in Providence, RI, performing Mozart’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah with the NJSO under the baton of Maestro Jacques Lacombe, a Mid-Atlantic tour of the USA in May 2013, and collaborating with the esteemed American composer Morten Lauridsen on his Nocturnes during his November 2013 MSU residency. In December 2015 they returned to the NJSO for two performances of Handel’s Messiah in Maestro Lacombe’s final season.
Heather J. Buchanan - Director
Heather J. Buchanan, PhD, conducts the 170-voice Chorale, 60-voice University Singers, and 24-voice Vocal Accord. Choirs under her direction have won critical acclaim for their “vibrant sound,” “eloquence”, and for singing with the “crispness and dexterity of a professional choir.” Her choirs have collaborated with many international artists including Meredith Monk, Mícheál ÓSúílleabháin, Tarik O’Regan, Joseph Flummerfelt, Sarah Hopkins, Chen Yi, members of the Vienna Philharmonic strings, Richard Alston Dance Company, and conductors Neeme Järvi, Jacques LaCombe, John Maucceri, and Susie Benchail Seiter with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Buchanan holds degrees from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music (Australia), Westminster Choir College of Rider University (USA), and the University of New England (Australia). A licensed Andover Educator, she teaches Body Mapping and somatic pedagogy for musicians. Her publications include co-editing and compiling Teaching Music through Performance in Choir (GIA), a chapter in Teaching Singing in the 21st Century (Springer), a DVD Evoking Sound: Body Mapping & Gesture Fundamentals (GIA), and choral octavos in the Evoking Sound Choral Series (GIA). A vibrant teacher, dynamic performer, and passionate musicians’ health advocate, Dr. Buchanan is in demand as a guest conductor, somatic educator, and choral clinician in the US and abroad.