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MSU Singers and MSU Chorale

John J. Cali School of Music

Heather J. Buchanan, Conductor | Steven W. Ryan, Accompanist

The MSU Singers perform excerpts from Handel’s Messiah. The MSU Chorale will perform the East Coast premiere and chamber orchestration world premiere performance of Appalachian Requiem by Michael Conley with soprano soloist Karen Driscoll and guest instrumental artists. The work addresses the devastating environmental and economic impact strip-mining has had on the people of Appalachia.

Free pre-concert presentation! “Behind the Scenes of Appalachian Requiem
Alexander Kasser Theater, Upper Lobby @ 7:00 pm
Appalachian Requiem composer Michael Conley describes his inspiration and his composition process. Soprano soloist Karen Driscoll discusses her work on this important new work and her personal ties to Appalachia.


pdf program peak performances


Heather J. Buchanan, PhD, conducts the 170-voice Chorale, 60-voice University Singers, and 24-voice Vocal Accord. Choirs under her direction have won critical acclaim for their “vibrant sound,” “eloquence”, and for singing with the “crispness and dexterity of a professional choir.” Her choirs have collaborated with many international artists including Meredith Monk, Mícheál ÓSúílleabháin, Tarik O’Regan, Joseph Flummerfelt, Sarah Hopkins, Chen Yi, members of the Vienna Philharmonic strings, Richard Alston Dance Company, and conductors Neeme Järvi, Jacques LaCombe, John Maucceri, and Susie Benchail Seiter with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Buchanan holds degrees from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music (Australia), Westminster Choir College of Rider University (USA), and the University of New England (Australia). A licensed Andover Educator, she teaches Body Mapping and somatic pedagogy for musicians. Her publications include co-editing and compiling Teaching Music through Performance in Choir (GIA), a chapter in Teaching Singing in the 21st Century (Springer), a DVD Evoking Sound: Body Mapping & Gesture Fundamentals (GIA), and choral octavos in the Evoking Sound Choral Series (GIA). A vibrant teacher, dynamic performer, and passionate musicians’ health advocate, Dr. Buchanan is in demand as a guest conductor, somatic educator, and choral clinician in the US and abroad.

Steven W. Ryan joined the Cali School faculty in 2006. He has performed as an orchestral keyboardist with most of the major orchestras in New York City, including members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He has played celesta with the legendary Berlin Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall; piano, harpsichord, and portative organ with the Dessoff Choirs; and synthesizer with the Moody Blues rock band. He has collaborated with conductors such as Lorin Maazel, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Neeme Järvi, Bernhard Haitink, Gerard Schwarz, and Maxim Shostakovich, among others. Mr. Ryan took first place in the 2001 Concours des Grands Amateurs de Piano. At the close of this international competition he was engaged to perform Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-Flat Minor at the Sorbonne in Paris. In addition to winning the French competition, Steven took second prize in the 2000 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs.