The American tenor, choral conductor and music pedagogue, Dean Ekberg, earned the Bachelor of Art degree in Applied Music from the State University of New York (SUNY) Fredonia (1969) and the Master of Music degree in conducting from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester (1987). His studies at Eastman continue.
Dean Ekberg has served as Chorus Master for Mercury Opera Rochester (2008-2009), and on the production staffs of the Chautauqua Opera Association, Opera Theatre of Rochester, Eastman Opera Theatre, Rochester Opera Factory and a number of community theater organizations. His theatrical work has included stage management, musical preparation, stage direction and conducting. During his tenure as Choral Director at Gates Chili High School (1970-2002) he also directed their dramatic productions and was music director for their annual musical theater productions.
In addition to his work at Gates Chili and in musical theater, Dean Ekberg has been director of the Nazareth College Children’s and Youth Choirs, and has served in leadership roles for the Monroe County School Music Association, New York State School Music Association, and American Choral Directors Association. He is currently coordinator for voice adjudicators for NYSSMA and an Adjunct Instructor for Mansfield (Pennsylvania) University. He recently retired from a long tenure as Director of Music at Gates Presbyterian Church (1995-2009).
Dean Ekberg's strong interest in international cooperation and cultural understanding is evident in his active participation in the Rochester Würzburg Sister Cities Committee. He is on the Board of the Association for Teen Age Diplomats, a group that organizes student exchanges primarily between Rochester and its several Sister Cities. Ekberg is a member of the ACDA ChoralNet Committee. He was the recipient of the 2001 Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Musicians’ Award for Outstanding Music Educators in Choral music. He is a member of Phi Delta Kappa, and has twice been listed in Who’s Who in American Education. In March of 2002, he was honored by the music students of Gates Chili High School by induction into Tri-M Music Honor Society as an honorary life member.