Erica J. Washburn Takes the Lead for Prep High School Choirs
NEC’s Preparatory School is pleased to announce that Erica J. Washburn will take on leadership of the Youth Chorale and Camerata for the 2019/2020 academic year. In addition to her new role leading the Prep high school choirs, Washburn also leads NEC’s college choruses as Director of Choral Activities, and teaches choral conducting.
“We're so excited to provide a collegiate level experience to our high school musicians, with the very same directors and conductors who lead our NEC college ensembles,”
says Rebecca Bogers, dean and director for the Preparatory School.
“Erica Washburn's energy is infectious and her vast knowledge and expertise of the chorale repertoire will be inspiring for all of our students to work with.”
Erica J. Washburn shares:
“I’m really looking forward to bringing more continuity to the Prep and College choral programs, and to connecting with my newest students.
“When working with younger singers, you have the privilege of being the first to introduce them to so many incredible artistic and musical experiences. Sometimes that means a new piece or unknown composer, a new language, or breakthrough moments in their vocal and musical development. To see that spark is wonderful and affirming.”
In its new format, both choirs will meet on Thursdays: Camerata from 4:30–5:30 p.m. and Youth Chorale from 6–7:45 p.m.
The Youth Chorale will present Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy in collaboration with the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (YPO) in a concert in NEC’s Jordan Hall. Camerata will perform in Symphony Hall alongside college musicians in NEC’s Philharmonia, conducted by Hugh Wolff. They will present one of Mahler’s most beloved works for orchestra and chorus, Symphony No. 2, known as the “Resurrection Symphony.”
“We have an exciting year lined up for all eight NEC choruses across Prep and the College, with repertoire and performances that I think will delight choristers and audiences alike,” shares Washburn.
About Erica J. Washburn
Conductor and mezzo-soprano Erica Washburn has been Director of Choral Activities at New England Conservatory since 2009. Known for her student-centric approach to classroom and rehearsal instruction, and commitment to the performance of new music, she is the recipient of several outstanding alumni awards, including the distinguished honor of induction to the Westminster Choir College Music Education Hall of Fame.
As a conductor, Washburn has worked with Kansas City, MO based Cardinalis, the East Carolina University Women’s Chorale, and the Eastman Women’s Chorus. She is a sought-after guest clinician who frequently leads state and regional festival choruses, and spent five summers as a conductor and voice faculty member for the New York State Summer School of the Arts School of Choral Studies.
Under her direction the NEC choirs have been featured on several live and pre-recorded broadcasts, including the North Carolina based station WCPE Great Sacred Music, WICN Public Radio, and WGBH Boston. The choirs can also be heard in collaboration with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project on the BMOP/Sound recording Paul Moravec: The Blizzard Voices.
Washburn’s stage credits include appearances as Madame Lidoine in Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, Rebecca Nurse in Robert Ward’s The Crucible, Mother/Allison in the premiere of Lee Hoiby’s This is the Rill Speaking and others. Her recital and orchestral solo credits are numerous, and her live premiere from Jordan Hall of the late Richard Toensing’s Night Songs and Evening Prayers can be heard on Albany Records, with the New England Conservatory Symphonic Winds.
B.M., music education, Westminster Choir College. M.M., choral conducting and vocal performance, East Carolina University. M.M., vocal performance, Eastman School of Music. Conducting and voice studies with Dr. William Weinert, Dr. Daniel J. Bara, Dr. Andrew Megill, Dr. James Jordan, Jan Opalach, Karen Holvik, John Kramar, and Anne Ackley Gray. Former faculty of New York State Summer School of the Arts School of Choral Studies, and Greatbatch School of Music of Houghton College.