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Andrew Megill (Choral Conductor)

Born: June 14, 1965 - Denver, Colorado, USA

The American choral conductor and music pedagogue, Andrew Donald Megill, studied at Farmington High in New Mexico (Class of 1983). He obtained his Bachelor of Music degree in Theory and Composition from the University of New Mexico (1983-1987); his Master of Music degre in Choral Conducting from Westminster Choir College (1987-1989); and his DMA in Choral Conducting from Rutgers University (1997-1999).

Andrew Megill is recognized as one of the leading choral conductors of his generation, known for his passionate artistry and unusually wide-ranging repertoire, extending from early music to newly-composed works. He has prepared choruses for many of the world's leading orchestras and conductors. He has collaborated with the American Composers Orchestra, American Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Dresdner Philharmonie, National Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and New York Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as with the Mark Morris Dance Company for such noted conductors as Dennis Russell Davies, Leon Botstein, Pierre Boulez, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Zdenek Macal, Neeme Järvi, Charles Dutoit, Alan Gilbert, Joseph Flummerfelt, Emmanuel Villaume, Craig Smith, Julius Rudel, and Jane Glover.

Since 1989, Andrew Megill has served as Artistic Director of Fuma Sacra, recognized as "one of America's leading professional ensembles specializing in Renaissance and Baroque vocal music" whose performances leave the audience "gasping in amazement" (Classical New Jersey). He has led Fuma Sacra in the American premiere of many forgotten masterworks of the choral repertory, including Antonio Caldara's Maddalena ai piedi di Cristo, Francisco Guerrero's Missa puer natus est nobis, Messe Solenelle of Heinrich Isaac, cantatas by Johann Pachelbel, Georg Philipp Telemann, and the Missa Dei Filii of Jan Dismas Zelenka. Dr. Megill's frequent performances of the music of J.S. Bach have been particularly admired; he has conducted all the major Bach choral works and over fifty of the cantatas with Fuma Sacra and the Westminster and Dublin Bach Festivals.

From January 2000 to August 2014, Andrew Megill was also Music Director of the Masterwork Chorus, one of metropolitan New York's finest volunteer choirs. With Masterwork Chorus, he has conducted the major choral-orchestral repertoire in the regions finest halls, including Avery Fisher and Carnegie halls. For the past thirteen years, Megill has served as chorusmaster for the Spoleto Festival USA, where his work has been praised for producing "the finest opera chorus in the world" (Charleston Post and Courier). Dr. Megill has also prepared opera choruses for the Berkshire Opera, conducted by Joel Revzen and the Juilliard Opera Center, conducted by Julius Rudel.

As a member of the faculty of Westminster Choir College of Rider University from 1993 to August 2014, Andrew Megill conducted the Westminster Kantorei, a chamber choir specializing in music of the Renaissance and Baroque. Highlights of the coming season include a collaboration with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and Westminster Choir of J.S. Bach's St Matthew Passion (BWV 244), conducted by Kurt Masur, as well as concerts in Princeton and New York. He has also been the conductor of the Westminster Singers, Schola Cantorum and the Westminster Chapel Choir. He served as Associate Conductor of the Westminster Symphonic Choir for 11 years, and was its Interim Conductor in 2004-2005. In this capacity, he collaborated with many of the world's leading orchestras, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, and Philadelphia Orchestra, under such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Chailly, Colin Davis, Lorin Maazel, Zdenek Macal, Kurt Masur, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Robert Shaw.

Andrew Megill has served also as Interim Chorusmaster of Trinity Wall Street (January 2008-June 2009); Associate Conductor at Carmel Bach Festival (2008-Present); Chef de choeur of Montreal Symhony Orchestra (2011-Present). Since August 2014 he is Professor of Conducting and Director of Choral Activities at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Illinois. In this post he oversees the choral department, including conducting two of the ensembles and leading the graduate programs in choral conducting.

Andrew Megill's passion for the choral art extends to works by living composers. He has conducted world and regional premieres of works by Richard Rodney Bennett, Andrew Bleckner, Paul Chihara, Peter Maxwell Davies, Jon Magnussen, Arvo Part, Stephen Paulus, Lewis Spratlan, Stephen Stuckey, and Augusta Read Thomas. Andrew Megill has also had the pleasure of collaborating with folk singer Judy Collins and film director Ridley Scott.

Source: Fuma Sacra Website (2007); Andrew Megil profiles on LinkedIn & Facebook; Bits & pieces from other sources; Photo 07: Heather Coit/The News-Gazette
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (January 2016)

Andrew Megill: Short Biography | Fuma Sacra | Westminster Kantorei | Recordings of Vocal Works

Links to other Sites

Fuma Sacra: About Us
Andrew Megill (University of Illinois School of Music)
Andrew Megill (Carmel Bach Festival)

Andrew Megill on LinkedIn
Andrew Megill on Facebook

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