12th World Symposium on Choral Music

Ethan Sperry


Country: USA

One of the joys of choral music is that the choir is the only “instrument” that has a worldwide tradition of music written for it.  Many cultures do not write down their music, so it is not always preserved and other cultures, like India, have music that exists almost entirely as improvisation.

Presenter Ethan Sperry has been at the forefront of translating the Music of India into a form that can be sung by amateur choirs. This session will explore the history of the Music of India, providing live performances of key pieces alongside recordings of source materials. The presentation will also contain a thorough list of available sheet music available arranged by voice type and difficulty.

Ethan Sperry is the Barre Stoll Professor of Choral Music and Director of Choral Activities at Portland State University, and Artistic Director and Conductor of Oregon Repertory Singers. Sperry earned a bachelor's degree in Philosophy from Harvard College and Masters and Doctoral degrees in Choral Conducting from the University of Southern California.

A prolific arranger of world music for choirs, Dr. Sperry is the editor of the Global Rhythms series for Earthsongs Music, one of the best-selling choral series in the USA. Sperry is also a frequent collaborator with film composer AR Rahman and has appeared as a guest conductor for him numerous times, including at Bollywood Night at the Hollywood Bowl and the 2008 Filmfare Awards, the Indian equivalent of the Oscars. He also serves as a consultant for the KM Music Conservatory in Chennai, the first classical music school in India, which opened in 2009.

From 2000-2010, Dr. Sperry was on the faculty at Miami University in Ohio where he conducted the Men’s Glee Club, Collegiate Chorale, and Global Rhythms Ensembles. From 2000-2006 he was the artistic administrator of the Arad Philharmonic Chorus in Arad, Romania, and from 2001-2003 was the principal conductor of the Choeur Regional de Guadeloupe, the only symphonic choir in the French West Indies.

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