Gregory Wait is an American tenor, choral conductor and music pedagogue.
As tenor soloist, Gregory Wait has made his mark in recital, in opera, and on the concert stage, having made his Carnegie Hall debut singing the Requiem of Alfred Schnittke. Hailed as âs one of the leading exponents of Benjamin Britten’s vocal works, he premiered works by Lou Harrison and William Kraft, and gave the first American performance of Alessandro Scarlatti’s Magnificat from his Vespers of St. Cecilia. He served as soloist at the prestigious Carmel Bach Festival for over 15 seasons, and came to national recognition as tenor soloist in the Davies Symphony Hall (San Francisco) televised Sing-it-Yourself Messiah on PBS, and has subsequently concertized throughout the USA, from the Anchorage Music Festival to Santa Fe. He recently conducted and sang the Evangelist in J.S. Bach’s Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244).
Now in his twenty-third season as music director of Schola Cantorum, Gregory Wait has received accolades from critics and the public alike for his vivid interpretations of choral masterworks, and for his commitment to the performance of new music. Under Wait’s leadership, Schola Cantorum has commissioned and performed numerous premieres, notably the Missa Gaia (Mass for the Earth) by Libby Larson and, most recently, Alva Henderson and Dana Gioia’s Winter Requiem. As director of the Congregational Oratorio Society, he has performed countless choral/orchestral works, and has led seven European tours in performances at historic venues throughout England, France, Italy, Switzerland, Russia and Scandinavia. Wait is also a choral arranger, and is frequently engaged as a lecturer and clinician for choral and vocal festivals.
Gregory Wait, the Billie Bennett Achilles Director of Vocal Studies on the Stanford University Music Department faculty, maintains a dynamic and enthusiastic teaching schedule. In recognition of his commitment to the principles of successful higher education, Wait received the Deans' Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1998, and was honored by his students and colleagues for his years of service to the university. In 2010 he was an ABBY honoree from the Arts Council Silicon Valley for his arts leadership in the Santa Clara valley. During his thirty year tenure as conductor of the Stanford Memorial Church Choir, the membership commissioned Stanford alumnus Kirke Mechem to compose his Missa Brevis Trinity as a tribute to his direction.