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Cincinnati May Festival Announces Conducting Fellow for the 2020-21 Season



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The Cincinnati May Festival announced Harry Cecil as the 2020-21 Choral Conducting Fellow. In this capacity, Cecil will assist Director of Choruses Robert Porco and Associate Director of Choruses Matthew Swanson with the May Festival Chorus next season. Cecil was chosen as the May Festival’s eighth Fellow following an in-person audition with the May Festival Chorus in February.

Cecil hails from Missouri and completed his Bachelor of Music in Voice at Truman State University, his Master of Music in Choral Conducting at the University of Missouri, and a Teaching Certification for K-12 vocal music at Lindenwood University. He begins doctoral studies in choral conducting this fall at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Director of Choral Studies Dr. Joe Miller and Professor of Ensembles and Conducting Dr. L. Brett Scott.

His past studies led Cecil to positions as Director of Choirs and Instructor at Mineral Area College and Assistant Conductor of the IN UNISON Chorus of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. He has also contributed numerous articles to publications including the Choral Journal and is a frequent conference presenter.

“This program is an important component to the May Festival’s year-round activities,” said Porco. “While the ongoing pandemic has caused disruptions in the world of singing, we look forward to resuming rehearsals and programs when it’s safe to do so, and I look forward to working with Harry. The May Festival will benefit from his experience and enthusiasm.”

“I was honored to be selected as the Conducting Fellow and look forward working with both the May Festival Chorus and May Festival Youth Chorus,” said Cecil. “Serving in this capacity with such a highly respected organization is a rare opportunity.”

The May Festival Choral Conducting Fellowship was launched in 2014 thanks to generous support from Ginger and David Warner. Since its inception, the Fellowship has consistently attracted top emerging choral leaders to Cincinnati. Past Fellows currently lead university, professional, symphonic, youth, and liturgical choruses in our region, across the country, and abroad.

“We continue to attract the best of the best to our region and the whole community benefits from having these artists,” said May Festival Executive Director Steven Sunderman. “The success of the Fellowship underscores the reputation of Cincinnati’s rich choral tradition and the vibrancy of the region’s arts scene.”