Established in 2008, the Arizona Musicfest Chorus has been praised for its stellar performances of the choral‐orchestra repertory. The Festival Chorus performs each season with Maestro Robert Moody and the Arizona Musicfest Festival Orchestra, a major destinations for the nation’s finest orchestral musicians. Singers in the Arizona Musicfest Festival Chorus perform choral repertoire from a wide variety of eras and styles. The Festival Chorus rehearsal and performance season runs January through February each year. Rehearsals usually take place on Thursday evenings (7‐10pm) and Saturday mornings (10AM‐1PM) at La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church in Scottsdale.

Dr. Sharon A. Hansen

Chorus Director

Dr. Sharon A. Hansen is Emerita Professor of Conducting and Choral Music at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. A dynamic and compelling conductor and master teacher, Hansen is active as a guest conductor and clinician throughout the United States and in Europe. She served as guest conductor for the Romanian National Radio Choir (Bucharest); the Gächinger Kantorei and Bach Collegium-Stuttgart; the Stockholm Conservatory Chamber Choir; the Moldavian and Oltenian Philharmonic Choirs (Iasì and Craiova, Romania); and taught at the University of Regensburg (Germany), where she served as Director of the Symphony Orchestra. She has presented master classes in conducting in Romania’s Academy of Music (Bucharest) and Ovidius University (Constanza), and was guest lecturer at the first and second annual Romanian National Choral Director’s Association Conferences in Sinaia.  She led the first International Choral Conducting Master class in Bucharest in September 2003, returning in 2004 for the second such master class. Hansen’s collegiate and professional ensembles have appeared at Carnegie Hall, and at state, regional and national MENC and ACDA conventions. She has been privileged to serve as guest conductor and clinician with all-state choirs, music festivals, and honor choirs in more than thirty states.

From 1998-2013, Hansen served as Founder and Music Director of the Milwaukee Choral Artists, one of only a handful of professional women’s vocal ensembles in the country. MCA frequently collaborated with Present Music, Milwaukee’s internationally acclaimed contemporary music ensemble, most notably in the presentation of Olivier Messiaen’s “Trois Petites Liturgies pour la Presence Divine” with members of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (Sharon A. Hansen, conducting). Equally well versed in early music, the Milwaukee Choral Artists also appeared three times in concert with the Boston Camerata, and performed with KITKA professional women’s ensemble. Hailed for its expressive singing, rich sound, and far-reaching musical repertoire, the ensemble performed music from more than forty world cultures in twenty-nine languages.  The Milwaukee Choral Artists left behind a most impressive legacy of some fifty commissioned, premiered, and published new works.

Hansen enjoyed a long career as member of the Editorial Board of the Choral Journal, where, as founder and editor for “On the Voice,” she shepherded eighteen years of diverse articles on the subjects of vocal pedagogy and health. Hansen’s research on the voice has been presented at State, Regional, and National ACDA and NAfME Conventions; at the 2010 National NATS Convention; as well as in other local and national venues. Hansen is author of the book Helmuth Rilling: Conductor – Teacher, and author of an ACDA monograph titled The First Fifty Years: An Index of ACDA Convention Interest Sessions and Choral Journal Publications; Choral Textbooks; and Teacher Preparation Statistics 1959-2009, which chronicles the history of ACDA’s efforts in voice education, and features the best of the articles written for “On the Voice” since its inception. Her chapter on the status of female conductors in higher education,  “Women, Conductors, and the Tenure Process:  What’s Up in the Academy,” is found in the book Wisdom, Wit, and Will:  Women Choral Conductors on their Art.

Hansen was a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Milwaukee Children’s Chorus; she also served on the Board of Directors for Milwaukee’s Early Music Now. In tribute to her influence on Southeast Wisconsin’s music scene, Hansen was the recipient of both the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Milwaukee Civic Music Association’s 2003 Award of Excellence in Choral Music. In 2010, she received the Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. In January 2014, she was presented with the Wisconsin Choral Directors’ Association highest meritorious honor, the Morris D. Hayes Award, presented to a choral conductor of “outstanding merit…who has demonstrated a commitment to choral music…and has made outstanding contributions to choral music in Wisconsin.” She has signature music series with both Santa Barbara Music Publishing and Hal Leonard Music Publishers.  Her professional memberships include ACDA (American Choral Directors Association); Chorus America; IFCM (International Federation of Choral Music); NAfME (National Association for Music Educators); NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing); The VoiceCare Network; and The Voice Foundation, for which she was Treasurer and founding member of the Greater Milwaukee Area Chapter of the Voice Foundation, the United States’ first local chapter.  Hansen recently served as Interim Director of Music and Arts at Pinnacle Presbyterian Church (Scottsdale AZ), a large church with a rich music tradition. She presently is Chorus Director for the Arizona Musicfest Festival Orchestra, and Membership Chair for the Arizona Chapter of the American Choral Directors’ Association.

Sharon Hansen, Chorus Director

Soprano

Abigail Krawczynska *
Sarah Smith *
Phyllis Banucci
Jane Brambilla
Karen Broaderip
Sheryl Erickson
Laura Feghali
Midge Holley
Lorna Kertesz
Janet MacDonald
Ernestine McNulty
Marjorie Reiter
Mary Thompson
Diane Thornbrugh
Diane VanDyke
Valarie Vousden
Anne Webb
Peggy Wensman
Kirsten Wolpert

Alto

Cynthia Engelsman *
Claire Penneau *
Allison SyWassink *
Peach Akerhielm
Karla Allingham
Pam Banning
Joan Behrens
Holly Bohling
Janeen Bonine
Jane Chavers
Janice Hulin
Bonnie Kasten
Irma Kluth
Patricia Mariella
Linda Moser
Jean O’Donnell
Ellen Patera
Susan Phillips
Kim Schaller
Lynne Bodman Storms
Lynne Traverse

Tenor

Jerry Gunderson *
James Yancey *
William Blaney
Dane Chavers
Gerald Cook
Michael Hegeman
David Hulin
James Lahey
Mark Law
Paul Rooker
Dan Russ

Bass

James Newman *
Max Seifert *
Robert Altizer
John Cleveland
Ellwood Cushman
Christopher Earl
Mark Forrester
David Getts
Franklin Martinson
Warren Riggers
Kenneth Thornbrugh
John Vousden

* Section Leaders

David Hulin, Chorus Manager

Lawrence Loeber, Rehearsal Pianist

AUDITION REQUIREMENTS 

Community Chorus Members

Auditions for the 2019-20 Season will be held on Tuesday, November 5, 7:00-10:00pm in the Sanctuary at La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church. The audition is the chance for our Chorus Director to hear your voice and assess your ability to fit into the Chorus. You are asked to prepare one short piece (art song, folk song, or hymn), approximately 1.5–2 minutes in length. A professional accompanist is provided for the audition.

The five-minute audition usually follows this format:

  • Sing the prepared, short song of your choice (art song, folk song, or hymn)
  • Demonstrate your vocal range
  • Sing back intervals played on the piano to check your tonal memory
  • Brief interview
To register for an audition, click on the button below and complete/SUBMIT the form; then Jay Good from Arizona Musicfest will get back to you to schedule your audition time.

Register for an Audition

AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

Section Leaders

Auditions for the 2019-20 Season will be held on Tuesday, November 5, 7:00-10:00pm in the Music Rehearsal Room at La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church. Applicants are asked to prepare two, memorized selections (art songs or arias) that best demonstrate your vocal ability, that is approximately 10 minutes in length. These pieces must be sung in two contrasting languages and styles. A professional accompanist is provided for the audition.

The ten-minute audition usually follows this format:

  • Sing your two prepared selections
  • Demonstrate your vocal range
  • Sing back intervals played on the piano to check your tonal memory
  • Sight read
  • Brief interview
To register for an audition, click on the button below and complete/SUBMIT the form; then Jay Good from Arizona Musicfest will get back to you to schedule your audition time.

Register for an Audition
Download Section Leader Job Description

Past Choral Repertoire

Singers in the Arizona Musicfest Festival Chorus perform choral repertoire from a wide variety of eras and styles.

Past season’s choral repertoire has included:

  • 2019 – Ralph Vaughan Williams: Benedicite; Ola Gjeilo: “Sunrise” from Sunrise Mass; Ola Gjeilo: The Ground
  • 2018 – Chichester Psalms; Selections from Candide: “Best of All Possible Worlds” and “Make Your Garden Grow”; Selection from Wonderful Town: “One Note Rag” [Bernstein 100th Anniversary Celebration]
  • 2017 Leoncavallo: Pagliacci (concert version)
  • 2016 – Orff: Carmina Burana 
  • 2015 – Bruckner: Psalm 150; Janacek: Glagolitic Mass
  • 2014 – Forrest: In Paradisum; Brahms: A German Requiem
  • 2013 – Prokofiev: Alexander Nevsky 
  • 2012 – Verdi: Requiem
  • 2011 – Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
  • 2010 – Verdi: Va pensieroLa Traviata – Act III Prelude; Aida: March, Gloria all’Egitto; Bizet: Carmen – Act IV
  • 2009 – Vaughan Williams: Dona Nobis Pacem
  • 2008 – Lloyd Webber: Requiem

 

Chorus Application


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