The Boston Cecilia Chorus:
BARBARA BRUNS, ASSOCIATE CONDUCTOR
Barbara Bruns, organist, the daughter of United Methodist missionaries, was born and raised in Japan where she spent the first 18 years of her life. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance, magna cum laude, from Augustana College and a Master of Music degree, with honors, from the New England Conservatory where she was elected to Pi Kappa Lambda honorary. She is the recipient of the “Outstanding Alumni Award” from Augustana College. Her organ studies have been with Yuko Hayashi, Harald Vogel, Arthur Poister, and Tom R. Harris. Recognized as an accomplished recitalist, accompanist, and conductor, she has concertized extensively in the United States, Europe, and Japan and has performed as soloist for national conventions of the Organ Historical Society, the American Guild of Organists, and the Association of Anglican Musicians.
Since 1974 Ms. Bruns has served as Music Director at several Episcopal parishes including St. Stephen’s, Westborough, St. John’s, Gloucester, St. Michael’s, Marblehead, and St. Thomas’, Whitemarsh, PA. In 1977 she founded and directed the Cape Ann Singers, a seventeen-voice mixed vocal ensemble, which performed numerous concerts in Gloucester, Boston and the North Shore for a period of four years. From 2000-2005, she served as Associate Organist and Choirmaster at St. Michael’s Church in New York City, during which time she was appointed Music Director of AMUSE, a sixteen-voice vocal ensemble for amateur women in Manhattan. She was also Director of Training for Leadership Technologies, Inc., a consulting firm in New York City.
Currently Ms. Bruns is Minister of Music at the Parish of Christ Church in Andover, Massachusetts, Associate Conductor of The Boston Cecilia, and Visiting Professor of Church Music at Fe rris University, Yokohama, Japan.
Scott Wheeler, composer-in-residence
Scott Wheeler (born Washington DC 24 Feb. 1952) American composer and conductor. He studied at Amherst College, the New England Conservatory and Brandeis University (PhD 1984); his principal teachers included Arthur Berger, Lewis Spratlan and Malcolm Peyton. He pursued further study at the Tanglewood Music Center (with Olivier Messiaen), the Dartington School (with Peter Maxwell Davies) and privately with Virgil Thomson. In 1975 he co-founded Dinosaur Annex, a chamber ensemble devoted to the performance of contemporary music; he became the group's sole artistic director in 1982. The ensemble has given the US premières of works by composers such as Davies, Judith Weir, Philip Grange, Poul Ruders and Anthony Powers. In 1989 Wheeler joined the music department at Emerson College, Boston, where he has also worked as a music director in the theatre department. His honours include a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (1988-89), a fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1994) and the Stoeger Award from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (1999).
"Wheeler's compositions remain tonally grounded, although polychordal harmonies and elements of modified serialism often run through his works. His writing is also characterized by strong rhythms and lucid texturees. His vocal works are distinguished by clear, natural text settings, refined expressivity and wit. The dramatic cantata The Construction of Boston (1988) reveals a sure theatrical sensibility." (Anthony Tommasini -- from Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians 2000)
Scott Wheeler's music has been commissioned and performed by the orchestras of Minnesota, Houston, Toledo and Indianapolis, as well as by New York City Opera, soprano Renée Fleming, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, and the Newport Music Festival. His opera Democracy: An American Comedy, on a libretto of Romulus Linney, was commissioned by the Washington National Opera and premiered by them in January of 2005. A CD of Scott Wheeler’s works featuring the Gramercy Trio and friends is a recent release on the Newport Classic label.
Wheeler's awards and commissions include the Guggenheim Foundation, the Fromm Foundation, Tanglewood, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Artist Foundation, Yaddo, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the MacDowell Colony, as well as the Stoeger Prize for excellence in chamber music from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. His work can be heard on GM Recordings, Northeastern Records, Palexa and Koch International. Scott Wheeler has taught at New England Conservatory, Brandeis University, and Emerson College in Boston, where he is Artistic Director of Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble. As a conductor, Wheeler has premiered over a hundred new works, as well as the Boston premieres of works by Poul Ruders, Scott Lindroth, Judith Weir, Peter Maxwell Davies, Philip Grange: his conducted recordings of recent works appear on the CRI, Capstone and Newport Classic labels. Naxos will release a recording by The Boston Cecilia of Wheeler's The Construction of Boston in 2008.