Akron Symphony Chorus under new leadership
The Greater Akron Music Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Albanese as Director of the Akron Symphony Chorus and Karen Ní Bhroin as Assistant Director of the chorus.
They succeed Marie Bucoy-Calavan, who successfully led the Akron Symphony Chorus for the past three seasons.
Chris Albanese is an assistant professor of choral conducting at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he conducts the Grammy-nominated Singing Hoosiers, and teaches courses in choral conducting. He came to the university by way of San Francisco, where he was a member of the Grammy award-winning ensemble Chanticleer.
His most recent work includes conducting and preparing collaborations with Sandi Patty, Sylvia McNair, the Indianapolis Opera, Ft. Wayne Philharmonic, and Carmel Symphony. While at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Chris conducted the University of Cincinnati Men’s Chorus, prepared the Men’s and Women’s Choruses for the North-American university premiere of Arthur Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake, and served the CCM opera department in the roles of chorus master and assistant conductor.
A passionate educator, Chris has facilitated master classes throughout the United States and Europe, and exhibits a keen interest in the music of Ibero-America, with special focus on the extant masses and motets of Juan Gutierrez de Padilla. He is a fervent advocate of popular and syncretic music styles, and their incorporation within the choral medium
Karen Ní Bhroin is from Co. Wexford, Ireland, and is one of Ireland’s leading young female conductors. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, she currently holds the position of graduate assistant orchestral conductor at Kent State University, where she is pursuing a master’s degree in orchestral conducting.
Karen made her conducting debut with Trinity College Orchestra in 2013 in the final year of her degree. She has previously studied conducting privately with Neil Thomson, Robert Houlihan, Denise Ham, John Longstaff and David Brophy. She has also attended conducting courses and classes in Europe and America with Rodolfo Saglimbeni, Neil Varon and John Farrer.
“I am excited to welcome Chris and Karen to their respective roles with the Akron Symphony Chorus,” said Music Director Christopher Wilkins. “The experience and energy they bring to their roles will help us continue to grow the chorus under their leadership, and I look forward to a fabulous season of music — not only this year, but for many years to come.”
At nearly 100 members, the Akron Symphony Chorus is dedicated to achieving the highest level of choral singing and performs several times a year with the Akron Symphony Orchestra. Chorus performances for the 2019-20 season include Symphonic Shakespeare on October 19, Home for the Holidays on December 13, the Mozart Requiem on February 22, and a standalone concert in the spring.