Conductor, teacher, and singer Gregory Ristow ’01 has been appointed Assistant Professor of Conducting and Director of Vocal Ensembles at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He will begin July 1.
“I'm excited to be coming to Oberlin to direct the vocal ensemble program,” says Ristow. “For me, it's a return to the place where I first discovered the joy and beauty of ensemble singing, as well as its importance to my development as a musician.”
Ristow comes to Oberlin from DePauw University School of Music, where he has served as director of choral activities since 2011. Ristow also serves as conductor of the Interlochen Singers and previously was director of choirs at the Rochester Institute of Technology and at Lone Star College-Montgomery, where he received the 2008 Faculty Excellence Award. In addition to his work as a choral conductor, Ristow is in demand as a teacher of Dalcroze eurhythmics—a method of teaching music through movement—and he teaches eurythmics at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Interlochen, Michigan.
As a singer, he has received praise as a performer with "star quality" who was "striking whenever he appeared on stage" (Indianapolis Examiner). He has sung professionally with the Houston Chamber Choir and Houston’s Mercury Baroque, and conducted professionally as artistic director of Encore Vocal Arts in Indianapolis and as a guest conductor with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Houston’s Foundation for Modern Music, Rochester’s Gregory Kunde Chorale, and Rochester’s Voices.
“I am elated that Greg will be joining the Vocal Studies Division,” says the division's director, Associate Professor Salvatore Champagne. “Greg brings a wide breadth of talents, accomplishments, and experience. His proven commitment to vocal music education and the care he demonstrates for his students' musical development are inspirational. We look forward to an exciting and productive collaboration.”
Ristow will serve as director of vocal ensembles, including the Oberlin College Choir and Musical Union, and will teach courses in vocal chamber music and conducting.
The Oberlin College Choir is a select ensemble of college and conservatory students that performs a wide variety of a cappella and accompanied choral literature. Each ensemble performs one concert at the end of the fall and spring semesters. Founded in 1837, the 140-voice Oberlin Musical Union brings together students from both the college and community, and maintains the second-oldest continuing choral tradition in the United States.
“It's an exciting time to be a choral musician and to be coming to Oberlin,” Ristow says. “I'm looking forward to working with the faculty to help structure a program that fits the needs of each of Oberlin's singers, whether they're studying to be a professional singer or making music as a joyful complement to their life.”
Ristow received his doctor of musical arts and master of music degrees from the Eastman School of Music, and his bachelor of music from the Oberlin Conservatory. He also holds a Dalcroze certificate from the Juilliard School and a Dalcroze license from the Longy School of Music.
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