Cincinnati May Festival Appoints Daniel Parsley as Conducting Fellow



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Mr. Parsley to assist Director of Choruses Robert Porco


CINCINNATI, OH The Cincinnati May Festival is delighted to announce the appointment of Daniel Parsley as May Festival Choral Conducting Fellow for the 2017-18 season. Mr. Parsley will assist Director of Choruses Robert Porco with the May Festival Chorus, as well as James Bagwell in the direction of the May Festival Youth Chorus. In addition, he will lead community engagement and outreach activities for the May Festival throughout the year. His duties will begin in August of 2017.

“I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity. As a Cincinnati native myself, I cannot adequately state how excited I am to join the May Festival family. I am happy to return to a city that I call home and to a place that so highly values musical excellence,” said Mr. Parsley.

Thanks to the incredible foresight and generosity of Ginger Warner, a Trustee of the University of Cincinnati and a Director Emeritus of the May Festival Board, the May Festival Choral Conducting Fellowship was created in 2013 in collaboration with the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) graduate Choral Conducting program. Each year, the fellow is chosen from CCM's Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA) Choral Conducting program, and serves one season as the Assistant Conductor of the May Festival Chorus.

In announcing Mr. Parsley's appointment, May Festival Chorus Director Robert Porco remarked, "I am extremely grateful to Ginger Warner for her generosity and her dedication to the arts and education. The May Festival Conducting Fellowship provides us with an exciting opportunity to tutor young choral conductors in the practice of chorus preparation."

According to CCM Director of Choral Studies Earl Rivers, "This fellowship provides unique professional training for our doctoral conducting students, providing them opportunities to conduct rehearsals, as well as to attend May Festival Board and Artistic Planning meetings to learn how a world-renowned Choral Festival is successfully produced."

Mr. Parsley currently enjoys an active career in the Midwest as a church musician, conductor, scholar, clinician and professional chorister. A Cincinnati native, he enters this fall the Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Choral Conducting program at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music (CCM). Previous education includes a MM in Choral Conducting (Bowling Green State University) and BA Voice Performance and B.A. International Studies with minors in Peace Studies and History (Xavier University).

Mr. Parsley has enjoyed a wide breadth of diverse professional experiences, ranging from his most recent position as Worship Arts Coordinator and Director of Choral Activities (Faith United Methodist Church; North Canton, Ohio) to participating in ethnomusicological research in West African musical traditions, having had the opportunity to conduct field research in Ghana, West Africa through the Edward B. Brueggeman Center for Dialogue. He has served as faculty (choral literature, KIIS Chorale & Opera Scenes) and assistant program director for the 2013, 2015, and 2017 KIIS Salzburg program and has also enjoyed several community chorus leadership positions, as artistic director for Harmonia Sacra Bowling Green and assistant conductor for the Toledo Choral Society. Choruses under Mr. Parsley have received invitations to perform at state and local conferences, as guests on concert series, and in collaborations with orchestras such as the Canton and Toledo Symphonies. As a conductor of symphonic choral literature, Mr. Parsley has prepared choruses for Gerhardt Zimmermann, James Meena, Giordano Bellincampi, and Emily Freeman Brown.

He has studied conducting under Robert Porco, Mark Munson, Tom Merrill, Brandon Dean, and Scot Buzza and has appeared in recent conducting masterclasses with Eric Whitacre, Rodney Eichenberger, Cesar Leal, and Robert Bode. Daniel’s passion for choral arts extends beyond conducting: he has performed with many choruses himself, including the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, Cincinnati May Festival Chorus, Toledo Opera, Tuscia Opera Festival (Viterbo, Italy), and the Berkshire Choral Festival.

Mr. Parsley is the Music in Worship R&R Chair for the Ohio Choral Directors’ Association and is an active member of the American Choral Directors’ Association, Chorus America, the American Guild of Organists, and NAfME.

About the May Festival and May Festival Chorus

Founded in 1873 from the proud German traditions of singing societies, the May Festival is directly responsible for the development of Cincinnati’s modern music life. Music Hall, the city’s primary concert venue, was built specifically to house the Festival’s performances. The celebrated roster of Festival Music Directors has included, among others, Theodore Thomas, Max Rudolf, James Levine and, most recently, James Conlon. As the oldest and one of the most prestigious choral festivals in the Western Hemisphere, the May Festival is a unique community asset unlike anything else in the world. In addition to the annual Festival, the May Festival Chorus performs year-round as the official chorus of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops and with fellow arts partners in diverse venues across the region. With its mission to engage, energize and connect the community, the May Festival is a valuable Cincinnati resource. May Festival performances are extraordinary and immersive experiences, repeatedly described by audiences as “inspiring,” “uplifting,” “thrilling,” and “dynamic.”