Under the direction of Stan Engebretson, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at George Mason University, the festival chorus will perform outstanding classical works selected by Dr. Engebretson. János Czifra, Domkapellmeister of the Dom, will conduct Mozart’s Mass in C Major, “Coronation,” KV 317, accompanied by the Salzburger Domorchester.
In Washington, DC since 1990, Dr. Stan Engebretson is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at George Mason University. He also is the Artistic Director of the National Philharmonic Chorale and is the Director of Music at the historic New York Avenue Presbyterian Church that is famous for its connection to Abraham Lincoln and its championing of American music. He leads major performances at Mason and conducts masterworks ranging in size from Handel’s Messiah to Berlioz’ Requiem with the National Philharmonic at The Music Center at Strathmore. He has appeared on concert stages throughout the United States and in Europe, Asia, and Australia and has studied with the great masters of choral music, including Robert Shaw, Gregg Smith, Richard Westenburg, Roger Wagner and Eric Ericson, Conductor Emeritus of the world-renowned Swedish Radio Choir in Stockholm, Sweden.
Hailing from the upper Midwest, Engebretson grew up in a musical environment singing in the Scandinavian choral tradition. His love of Celtic traditions began here from his Icelandic heritage with its strong connection to Irish music. He earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Piano and Voice from the University of North Dakota and has a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from Stanford University. Before moving East, he taught in the University of Texas system and at the University of Minnesota. In addition, he served as the Artistic Director of the Midland-Odessa Symphony Chorale and was the Associate Conductor of the Minnesota Chorale.
In 2009 he served as a Fulbright Scholar to Iceland and since 1992, he has lectured for the Smithsonian Institution at the Bach Festival in Carmel, CA; the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, CO; and the Spoleto-USA Festival in Charleston, SC. Abroad in recent seasons, he performed in festivals presented by the Europa Cantat and AMJ (Arbeitskreis Musik in der Jugend), plus other concerts, masterclasses, and workshops in Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Russia, Lithuania, Iceland, Switzerland, China, Korea, and Australia.
Named “one of the most sought-after choral conductors/clinicians” by The American Choral Directors Journal, Eph Ehly is renowned as a conductor, author, and lecturer. Dr. Ehly has appeared as a conductor and educator in 48 of the United States, as well as Canada, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, and Europe; has been presented on more than 100 university and college campuses and has served as the Artist Director and Conductor for 5 Music Celebrations International Choral Festivals both domestically and abroad.
Dr. Ehly received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Colorado, a Master of Music Degree from George Peabody College, Nashville Tennessee; and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska-Kearney. He began his teaching career in the public high schools of Western Nebraska and continued on to teach at the University of Oklahoma, Kansas University, Texas Christian University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. More than 90 Doctorate and 100 Masters Degree students have graduated under his supervision.
The recipient of many prestigious awards and fellowships, Dr Ehly’s work, both written and applied is widely praised for his “…inspired passion for musical excellence, mature wisdom and transcendent appeal.” Dr. Ehly has shared his wisdom and expertise through his popular memoir, “Hogey’s Journey,” published by Heritage Press. His unique philosophies in conducting and rehearsal techniques have been featured in video master classes published by Hal Leonard and have been the subject of several Doctoral Dissertations by active American Choral Conductors.
Born in Hungary, János Czifra has been the director of music of the Salzburg Dom since 1989. Apart from his liturgical services, Czifra has arranged the music for the choir and the orchestra of the cathedral for internationally recognized big events such as the visit of the Pope to Salzburg, Episcopal consecration and jubilees, and festivals of sacred music and symposiums.
Numerous concert tours led János Czifra and the Cathedral Choir to the USA, to Japan and to various European cities. Due to his international reputation, Czifra has repeatedly been invited as conductor or juror in Europe and overseas. In 2002 Janos Czifra was admitted into the European Academy of Science and Arts and thus given the title “Professor.” He very much values and enjoys the opportunities to work together with the many musical guests to Salzburg and the cathedral.