2017 Artistic Director: Stan Engebretson
In Washington, DC since 1990, Dr. Stan Engebretson is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at George Mason University. He also is the Artistic Director of the National Philharmonic Chorale and is the Director of Music at the historic New York Avenue Presbyterian Church that is famous for its connection to Abraham Lincoln and its championing of American music. He leads major performances at Mason and conducts masterworks ranging in size from Handel’s Messiah to Berlioz’ Requiem with the National Philharmonic at The Music Center at Strathmore. He has appeared on concert stages throughout the United States and in Europe, Asia, and Australia and has studied with the great masters of choral music, including Robert Shaw, Gregg Smith, Richard Westenburg, Roger Wagner and Eric Ericson, Conductor Emeritus of the world-renowned Swedish Radio Choir in Stockholm, Sweden.
Hailing from the upper Midwest, Engebretson grew up in a musical environment singing in the Scandinavian choral tradition. His love of Celtic traditions began here from his Icelandic heritage with its strong connection to Irish music. He earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Piano and Voice from the University of North Dakota, and has a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from Stanford University. Before moving East, he taught in the University of Texas system and at the University of Minnesota. In addition, he served as the Artistic Director of the Midland-Odessa Symphony Chorale and was the Associate Conductor of the Minnesota Chorale.
In 2009 he served as a Fulbright Scholar to Iceland and since 1992, he has lectured for the Smithsonian Institution at the Bach Festival in Carmel, CA; the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, CO; and the Spoleto-USA Festival in Charleston, SC. Abroad in recent seasons he performed in festivals presented by the Europa Cantat and AMJ (Arbeitskreis Musik in der Jugend), plus other concerts, masterclasses, and workshops in Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Russia, Lithuania, Iceland, Switzerland, China, Korea, and Australia.
2018 Artistic Director: William Skoog
William Skoog joined the Rhodes faculty in 2009 as Professor of Music, Elizabeth Daughdrill Fine Arts Chair of the Department of Music, and director of choral studies. He most recently served as Associate Professor and Director of Choral Activities at Bowling Green State University, directing the University Men’s Chorus, University Choral Society and Collegiate Chorale, and taught courses in undergraduate and graduate conducting and choral literature.
Choral ensembles under his direction have distinguished themselves at OCDA, OMEA, ACDA and MENC conference performances, and have performed at special events honoring William F. Buckley, Jr., and Generals Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf.
Skoog has conducted various university choirs with the Toledo Symphony (OH), the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra (IN), the Elkhart Symphony and Chorus (IN), the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Moravian Symphony Orchestra. He served as a featured artistic director and conductor of the distinguished Lucerne Choral Festival, Switzerland in 2008, conducting choirs from throughout the United States with the Santa Maria Orchestra from Lucerne. He has conducted European premieres of works by Dave Brubeck, and has prepared choruses for Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Edvard Tchivzhel, Stephan Sanderling, and Giordano Bellincampi.
His publishing credits include Music Educators Journal, Choral Journal and Cambridge Scholars Press (UK). He has presented at respected scholarly conferences including MENC, ACDA, and the International Conference on the Literature of War, Durrell School, Corfu, Greece. He has been selected to present a session on Men’s Chorus techniques at the 2012 Southern Division conference of ACDA in North Carolina. Skoog is a champion of new music, and choral ensembles under his direction have performed and premiered numerous pieces as part of the renowned New Music and Art Festival for Mid American Center for Contemporary Music, an international festival held at BGSU. They have performed compositions by Dave Brubeck, Samuel Adler, Chen Yi, John Harbison and Michael Cox, among others.
Skoog directs choral festivals at the regional, state, national and international levels, including the states of Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, New York and Iowa. His additional conducting credits include the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra, Indiana Opera North, the Arvada Center Theatre Company, the Golden Youth Symphony, Littleton Chamber Orchestra, and the Elkhart (Indiana) and Longmont (Colorado) Symphonies and Choruses.
As a singer, he has participated by audition in the Robert Shaw Festival and Institute Singers under Robert Shaw, also performing by audition with Sir Neville Marriner, André Previn and Peter Schreier at Carnegie Hall.