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DR. D. JASON BISHOP TO JOIN TEXAS BOYS CHOIR AS ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
FORT WORTH, Texas – July 17, 2017 – Clint Riley, president and chief executive officer of Texas Center for Arts + Academics (TCAA), has announced the appointment of D. Jason Bishop, DMA, as artistic director of Texas Boys Choir (TBC), one of the world’s most renowned musical ensembles, now in its 71st year. Dr. Bishop, a respected educator, and conductor and musician, is currently associate professor of music, director of choral and vocal studies, and chair of the department of music at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. He begins as TBC artistic director in January 2018.
Riley makes the announcement as the Texas Boys Choir enjoys the final days of a nearly month-long tour in China, performing 16 concerts to sold-out houses in 14 cities, including a by-invitation performance at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, led by interim artistic director Ellie Lin. They return at the end of July.
“At this rare moment of leadership change in our 71-year history, we are thrilled to have Dr. Bishop join our family,” Riley stated. “He has the credentials and training to build upon Texas Boys Choir’s solid foundation of artistic excellence and reputation. Even more exciting is his demonstrated experience as a collaborator, his heart for young people, and his passion for developing community programs.”
Dr. Bishop’s selection followed a national search begun in late March when S. Bryan Priddy, who had led the choir since 2008, resigned.
Jason Bishop, 41, brings a wide-ranging and rich field of musical and educational experience and capabilities to the role as only the eighth artistic director for the Texas Boys Choir.
He previously served as the artistic director of The Greater South Jersey Chorus, Music Director of the Erie Philharmonic Chorus and Director of Choral Activities at Penn State Erie. In 2008, he changed the choral landscape of northwestern Pennsylvania by founding its first and only community youth and children’s chorus organization, the Young People’s Chorus of Erie. Described by the Erie Times News as “energetic, vital, and innovative,” Dr. Bishop has also been an active guest conductor and clinician, conducting many honor choirs, festivals, and workshops throughout the United States. In 2009, the American Choral Directors Association of Pennsylvania named him “Outstanding Young Conductor of the Year.” He currently serves the ACDA as National Repertoire & Resources Chair for Student Activities. Dr. Bishop has been among the guest conductors of the National Chorale’s Annual Messiah Sing-In at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, and he made his Carnegie Hall debut in May 2010 conducting Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with Distinguished Concerts International New York. Previously, he also served on the faculty of Lesley University and in administration for Longy School of Music, both in Cambridge, MA; and as Director of Music at St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church in Norman, OK. A respected musician, Jason Bishop performed as a countertenor soloist in chamber ensemble concerts and vocal recitals and sang as a baritone for two seasons with the Santa Fe Desert Chorale.
"It is a joy and privilege to become the next Artistic Director of this extraordinary organization," Bishop said. "Texas Boys Choir is recognized globally for its remarkably high standards musically and academically. I look forward to virtually limitless opportunity as we continue traditional repertoire while expanding the spectrum of cultures and languages, and as we grow and diversify the membership while strengthening TBC's engagement in the vibrant North Texas community and beyond."
A native of Burns, Tennessee, Jason Bishop earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting from the University of Oklahoma, his Master of Music degree in choral conducting from Boston University and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Classical Languages from Rhodes College in Memphis, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with distinction and voted into the Rhodes College Hall of Fame, among other accolades.
When he arrives in early 2018, TBC will be preparing for spring and summer engagements and fulfilling an invitation to perform for the National Conference of the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE).
About Texas Boys Choir
Texas Boys Choir was founded in 1946 by American choral conductor, George Bragg. Determined to provide any boy regardless of socio-economic or ethnic background a structured environment in which to learn the fundamentals of world-class vocal performance, TBC began as a publicly supported, professional nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the vocal talents of gifted young men. Following an audition, accepted members of TBC begin intensive vocal training. They become part of a tradition of artistic and academic achievement that instills a love of artistic expression and a desire to succeed musically and academically.
All TBC members attend Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts, where they receive extensive training in music and rigorous academic education, develop self-discipline and self-confidence and maintain high academic standards while devoting significant time outside of class for concerts and tours. There are 45 choir boys in what has recently returned to an all-treble ensemble. Over the years the Choir has traveled to numerous international destinations including Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, Mexico, South America, and Eastern and Western Europe. In 2016, they celebrated a 70th Anniversary Tour in Germany and Austria, including an exchange with Vienna Boys Choir. They have sung for presidents, kings and heads of state, religious leaders and audiences large and small around the world. The Choir has appeared on television and radio broadcasts and boasts more than four dozen professional recordings with Columbia, Decca and independent labels.
About Texas Center for Arts+ Academics
Four entities comprise Texas Center for Arts + Academics: its two Texas charter schools are Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts (FWAFA) and Texas School of the Arts (TeSA), and its two conservatories are Texas Boys Choir and Texas Dance Conservatory. All are based in Fort Worth, Texas, and are designed to foster a lifelong passion for artistic and academic excellence. FWAFA and TeSA educate more than 1000 students who apply or audition to enroll.
Focused squarely on youth development through an arts-based academic worldview, the Center is one of the only organizations of its kind in the country and unique in North Texas. It exists to support a self-sustaining arts community through arts-based academics in its schools and high-quality artistic training in its conservatories. Its combined institutions provide an arts-based curriculum that celebrates a child’s unique talents while simultaneously ensuring an arts-rich future.
TCAA is guided by a board of directors that includes officers Michael W. Wellbaum, chairman; Melissa Goodroe, chair elect; Bill Lamkin, past chair; and Katie Copeland, secretary. Fellow directors are Edward Brown, Anne Cox, Dr. Steven E. Johnson, Beth Lamb, and Linda Metcalf.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR INQUIRIES CONTACT:
Clint Riley, President & CEO | 817-766-2390 or Clint.Riley@ArtsAcademics.org