Thursday, Sep 2, 2021
Alumna Lynnel Joy Jenkins '94 will conduct Westminster Choir
by Anne Sears
Dean Marshall Onofrio is pleased to announce plans for Westminster Choir College’s 2021-22 choral program.
After a year’s hiatus, Westminster Choir will return to performing under the direction of Dr. Lynnel Joy Jenkins ’94. Westminster Symphonic Choir will be under the direction of Dr. James Jordan, who will be joined by guest conductor Dr. James Bagwell, director of music performance studies and professor of music at Bard College. Dr. Jordan will also conduct Westminster Chapel Choir and Westminster Schola Cantorum.
Tom T. Shelton Jr will conduct the Westminster Williamson Voices Treble Ensemble. Vinroy D. Brown Jr. ’15 will conduct Westminster Jubilee Singers. Kathleen Ebling Shaw ’85 will conduct Westminster Concert Bell Choir. Westminster Williamson Voices and Westminster Kantorei will be on hiatus for the 2021-22 academic year.
Performance schedules for each ensemble are being finalized, and will be available to view at rider.edu/arts.
Lynnel Joy Jenkins has lectured and conducted in China, Hong Kong, Iceland, South Africa and Switzerland. She has conducted honor choruses at national, divisional and several state conferences for the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), national conferences for the Organization for American Kodály Teachers, numerous all-state choruses and choral festivals, and presented interest sessions and reading sessions for these professional music associations.
Dr. Jenkins’ conducting and teaching experience ranges from the elementary to the collegiate level. Her achievements and contributions to the field of music education have been recognized by Westminster Choir College of Rider University, where she has been inducted into the Music Education Alumni Hall of Fame and presented with the Alumni Merit Award. In addition to her current position at Westminster Choir College, she is artistic director of Westrick Music Academy (WMA) and choral teacher at Timberlane Middle School of Hopewell Valley Regional School District.
James Bagwell maintains an active international schedule as a conductor of choral, operatic, and orchestral music. He is associate conductor of The Orchestra Now (TON) and principal guest conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra. He has led both ensembles in concerts at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. He served as music director of The Collegiate Chorale from 2009-2015. He has collaborated since 2011 with singer and composer Natalie Merchant, conducting orchestras across the country, including the San Francisco and Seattle Symphonies. Other recent performances include Glass’s Another Look at Harmony at the Park Avenue Armory and leading the Little Opera Theatre of New York’s production of Rossini’s Opportunity Makes the Thief.
Dr. Bagwell has trained choruses for American and international orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, NHK Symphony (Japan), St. Petersburg Symphony, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. He has worked with such noted conductors as Charles Dutoit, Andris Nelsons, Alan Gilbert, Valery Gergiev, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Michael Tilson Thomas and Robert Shaw.
Discussing the choral ensemble roster for the coming year, Dean Onofrio said, “I am very excited for us to return to in-person performances, particularly choral singing. Our talented faculty will be joined by two very important choral conductors, and I am sure that our students will find their choral experiences to be challenging, informative and enjoyable.”