Choral Department

Historical Archive

Past News, Events and Activities in the Indiana University Choral Conducting Department

2009 Spring Concert Calendar

Recollections of Benjamin Britten and the Premiere of the War Requiem

Christopher Hunt, Professor of Arts Administration and someone who has had an impressive career as a singers agent, festival director and opera manager in the UK and the USA, will discuss his recollections of Benjamin Britten and the premiere of the War Requiem. This will be a beautiful opportunity to examine the professional and cultural context in which this wonderful piece arose and was performed. Professor Hunt will entertain spontaneous questions from you all. For information on Professor Hunt, please visit

WHEN: SAT, APRIL 18, 2009, 5PM


In Memoriam

The Choral Department mourns the death of Professor George Buelow on March 30, 2009.
Dr. Buelow was mentor to generations of graduate choral students as director of several doctoral documents and of the graduate choral literature seminars. Gwyn Richards, Dean of the Jacobs School and a member of the choral faculty, has sent this message to the school's community:

Dear Jacobs School of Music Family

It is with sadness that I share the news of the death of George Buelow last evening. Professor Buelow (born 31 March 1929) received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the Chicago Musical College, where he studied piano with Rudolf Ganz. In 1951 he began graduate studies in musicology at New York University under Martin Bernstein, Gustave Reese, and Curt Sachs. Following a Fulbright fellowship in 1954-55, he returned to New York and Chicago and served on the editorial staff of various music journals while writing his dissertation on Johann David Heinichen's Der Generalbass in der Composition. Professor Buelow received his Ph.D. from New York University in 1961, and from 1961 to 1968, he taught at the University of California at Riverside. In 1966-67, he held a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 1968 he was appointed Professor of Music and chair of the department at the University of Kentucky. In 1969, he became Professor of Music, Coordinating Chairman, and Director of Graduate Studies at Rutgers University. Finally, in 1977 he joined the School of Music at Indiana University as Professor of Musicology, teaching courses not only in musicology but also in choral music and piano until his retirement in 1999. He served for many years as American editor for Acta musicologica, the journal of the International Musicological Society (IMS), and as a member of the Commission Internationale Mixte for the Répertoire Internationale des Sources Musicales (RISM). He also served as president of the American Bach Society (1987-92), vice-president of the American Handel Society (1989-93), as a member of the Directorium of the IMS (1987-97), and on numerous boards. In addition, he was founder of the series Studies in Musicology, which published 110 volumes (1977-90) under his general editorship.

Professor Buelow specialized in German music of the 17th and early 18th centuries, with emphasis on performance practice, music theory, and opera. His dissertation, which was later revised and published as Thorough-Bass Accompaniment According to Johann David Heinichen, provides a comprehensive exposition of the relationship between the performance practice and music theory of the time. He also authored more than 100 articles for both editions of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, as well as numerous reviews and articles for various journals, Festschriften, and collections. His study of opera includes 22 articles for the New Grove Dictionary of Opera, as well as an edition of Johann Mattheson's Cleopatra for the series Das Erbe deutscher Musik (1975).

On the occasion of his 65th birthday, Professor Buelow was honored with a Festschrift of articles by colleagues and former students (Festa musicologica [Pendragon Press, 1995]), and in October 2004, the Musicology Department and the Center for the History of Music Theory and Literature co-sponsored a "Celebration of Scholarship," a conference in honor of the 75th birthdays of Malcolm Brown and George Buelow, paying tribute to two men who contributed so much to the Musicology Department, the Jacobs School of Music, and the world of scholarship. Also in 2004, Professor Buelow's, A History of Baroque Music, a comprehensive survey of Baroque music, was published by the IU Press.

At Professor Buelow's request, there will be no services. Contributions in his honor should be made to the OPUS Fund of the American Musicological Society (6010 College Station, Brunswick, ME 04011-8451).

"The Singing Revolution"

The Choral Department invites Colleagues and Students to a viewing of "The Singing Revolution" a documentary on the liberation of Estonia through choral singing.

Friday, March 6, 4:30pm

Room M267 Simon Building, Cook Music Library

Colloquium: with guests Andrea Clearfield and Alan Harler

Friday February 6, 5pm Room M344

"Commissioning and Collaborating between Composers and Music Ensembles"

The Choral Department is proud to host a Colloquium with conductor Alan Harler and composer Andrea Clearfield.

Composer Andrea Clearfield's recent commissions include works for The Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestra 2001, Network for New Music, The Debusssy Trio, Dolce Suono Chamber Music Series, the Mendelssohn Club and the Turtle Creek Chorale. She has been praised by The Philadelphia Inquirer for her "virtuosity", "compositional wizardry" and "mastery with large choral and instrumental forces". Ms. Clearfield has received grants and awards from ASCAP, the NEA, The Leeway Foundation, the American Music Center, the American Composers Forum, the International Alliance for Women in Music, the Independence Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She has been in residence at Yaddo, where she was awarded the Aaron Copland Residency for an American Composer as well as the MacDowell Colony, the Blue Mountain Center, Ucross, Ragdale, The Wurlitzer Foundation and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, among others.

A native of Philadelphia, Ms. Clearfield received a D.M.A. in composition from Temple University. Host and founder of the Philadelphia SALON Concert Series since 1986, she also serves on the composition faculty at The University of the Arts and is pianist for the Relache Ensemble.

Alan Harler serves as Laura H. Carnell Professor and Chairman of Choral Music at Temple University's Boyer College of Music and Dance. He is an active conductor outside of Philadelphia, having performed regularly at the Festival Casals in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the Aspen Choral Institute, and has given master classes and conducted performances in Taiwan and China under the sponsorship of the Taiwan Philharmonic Association. In 1998, Alan Harler was named Music Director of Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, only the twelth person to hold that position in the chorus' 133-year history.

Alan Harler is a strong advocate for new American music. He was founder and director of the Contemporary Vocal Ensemble of Indiana University. During his tenure with Mendelssohn Club, he has commissioned and premiered thirty-three new compositions, including such major works as Robert Moran's Requiem: Chant du Cygne (1990), Charles Fussell's Specimen Days (1992), Robert Stern's Returning the Song (1994), Cynthia Folio's Touch the Angel's Hand (1994), Jan Krzywicki's Lute Music (1995), James Primosch's Fire Memory/River Memory (1998), Charle's Fussell's High Bridge (2003), and Andrea Clearfield's The Golem Psalms (2006). He conducted Mendelssohn Club in a critically acclaimed recording of the Moran Requiem for Argo/London Records in 1994. With the Temple University Concert Choir, he has presented many Philadelphia premieres, including Moran's Hagoromo, Alfred Schnittke's Requiem, and Arvo Part's Passio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Secundum Joannem. Maestro Harler has prepared choruses for many of the country's leading conductor's, including Riccardo Muti, Klaus Tennstedt, Charles Dutoit, Zubin Mehta, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Lorin Maazel, David Robertson, and Wolfgang Sawallisch.


Doctoral Alumnus Robert Gehrenbeck won this year's Julius Herford National Choral Dissertation Prize given by the ACDA-The American Choral Directors Association, for his final document on the choral music of Brish composer Giles Swayne.

Dr. Gehrenbeck joins the distinguished roster of IU Choral Department graduates who also have won the award:

Melinda O'Neal(for "Berlioz's L'enfance du Christ : trilogie sacrée, op. 25 : a conductor's analysis for performance"); Carmen Helena Tellez (for "Musical Form and Dramatic Concept in Handel's Athalia"); Marika Kuzma (for "Dmitrii Stepanovich Bortnianskii (1751-1825) : an introduction to the composer through an edition of his choral concertos Priidite, Vospoim, and Glasom moim"); David Newby (for Igor Stravinsky's Oedipus rex: Literary background, musical structure, and dramatic symbolism"); and Graeme Cowen (for "Igor Stravinsky's Threni: A conductor's study for performance").

IU Choral Department Administrator David Villanueva won the Indiana University Staff Merit Ward of 2008, for his exraordinary service to the department and the university.

In Memoriam

THOMAS DUNN, pioneering American choral conductor, Professor of Choral Conducting at Indiana University, and beloved mentor of its graduate conducting students, died in Bloomington, on October 26, 2008

The New York Times
The Boston Globe
Musical America
Indianapolis Star
Bloomington Herald Times


A Funeral Service and burial was held Saturday, November 15 at 11:15 am at the Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St. in Baltimore, MD.

Read the Eulogy by Tom Hall, Director of Baltimore Choral Arts Society

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Thomas Dunn can be sent to one of the following two organizations: The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research ( and Musicians Against Parkinson's (

Featured Concerts

Contemporary Vocal Ensemble

"In the Voices of Women"

Carmen Helena Tellez, Conductor

The CVE premieres the full version of Pulitzer prizewinning composer Shulamit Ran's "Credo/Ani-Ma'amin". The work was commissioned by the eminent ensemble Chanticleer, who premiered and recorded an abridged version in 2006. The program is complemented by "Autumn Reflections" by Joni Greene, who won the CVE Choral Composition Award 2008, and the Credo by doctoral candidate Yoomi Paick, a brilliant work for soloists, chorus and percussion.

Sunday, March 8, 2009
Auer Hall 4 pm
Symphonic Choir
Susan Swaney, Conductor
Sweet Fields (Fall Ballet)
Musical Arts Center (MAC)