NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - Dr. David Howard, associate director of choral activities at Stephen F. Austin State University, has been selected from a nationwide pool of applicants to be a part of a large chorus performing Hector Berlioz's "Grande Messe des morts, Op. 5" (or Requiem) at Carnegie Hall on Sunday, Feb. 13.
Robert Spano, music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, will conduct the work.
Howard and the other chosen vocalists, all of whom are also choral conductors, will spend the week leading up to the concert attending conducting master classes and score preparation sessions with Spano and Norman Mackenzie, director of choruses for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra who for many years served as chorusmaster for the late conductor Robert Shaw.
Howard considers this an amazing opportunity for several reasons. "The Berlioz Requiem is an enormous work requiring enormous vocal and instrumental resources, so I'm excited to have an opportunity to perform it, especially under Robert Spano's baton."
Singing in one of the country's most famous venues and learning from leading conducting professionals are equal causes for excitement, Howard continued. "The entire week will be inspiring and an opportunity to be recharged."
A member of the SFA faculty since 2007, Howard conducts the Choral Union and Women's Choir and teaches applied voice and choral conducting. Prior to his appointment at SFA, Howard conducted choirs at the secondary level in the Oklahoma City area and served as artistic director/conductor of two auditioned civic choruses: the Steiner Chorale in Lansing, Mich., and the Midwest Choral Society in Midwest City, Okla.
In addition to choral conducting, Howard maintains an active solo performance schedule with frequent oratorio and cantata presentations by churches, university choirs, community choirs and schools.
Recently, he appeared as the baritone soloist in Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" with the choirs and orchestra of the SFA School of Music, and in Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Dona nobis pacem" with the choirs and orchestras of the Eastern Michigan University School of Music.
As a recitalist, Howard frequently performs with pianist Manuel Antonio Carrillo, specializing in lieder, English art song and the music of J.S. Bach.
Howard earned his Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music in vocal performance at the University of Central Oklahoma and his Doctor of Musical Arts in choral conducting from Michigan State University.