Dr. Jason Vodicka, director emeritus

Dr. Jason Vodicka, music directorDr. Jason Vodicka was appointed the director of the Harrisburg Choral Society in 2014. He stepped down from the directorship in May 2019, and is Director Emeritus of the Society.

Dr. Vodicka is a graduate of the Westminster Choir College, Rider University in Princeton, NJ, where he earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education in 2002 and a Master of Music Education with Distinction in 2009. He has most recently earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting with a minor in musicology from the University of Georgia in Athens, GA, where he was a Presidential Graduate Fellow.

Dr. Vodicka has wide experience as a performer, accompanist, educator, and conductor. He was Vocal Music instructor for Pennsbury High School in Fairless Hills, PA, where he directed his choruses in local performances and in appearances in New York City and Europe. He was also associate director and accompanist for the Pennsbury Community Chorus. He has directed the Westminster Choir College Women's Chorus and the choir of Ewing Presbyterian Church in Ewing, NJ. While at the University of Georgia, Dr. Vodicka directed the UGA Opera Ensemble and the Women's Glee Club, and was an assistant and guest conductor of the UGA University Chorus and University Orchestra. He has also been an organist for several Westminster Choir College ensembles, Covenant Presbyterian Church in Trenton, NJ, Yardley UCC Church in Yardley, PA, and First Presbyterian Church in Morrisville, PA.  Dr. Vodicka joined the faculty at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA in 2013 where he was Coordinator of Music Education and directed the University Chorale.

In 2018 Dr.Vodicka was appointed Assistant Professor of Music Education at Westminster Choir College, where he teaches undergraduate courses in music education, mentors student teachers, and teaches summer courses in conducting and choral pedagogy for in-service teachers and professional musicians. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association of PA and the PA Music Educators Association.

Directors Emeritus of the Harrisburg Choral Society

Dr. Jason D. Vodicka

Dr. Jason D. Vodicka, music director 2014-2019

Dr. Vodicka studied music education and choral studies at Westminster Choir College, Rider University, NJ, and earned his Ph.D. in Conducting from the University of Georgia. He served as vocal music instructor for Pennsbury High School in Fairless Hills, PA for nine years, and Coordinator of Music Education and director of the University Chorale at Susquehanna University from 2013-2019. He is currently professor of Music Education at Westminster Choir College.

Dr. Robert Hart Baker

Dr. Robert Hart Baker, music director 2004-2014

Dr. Baker earned degrees in conducting from Harvard University and Yale University, studied at the Mozarteum Conservatory, and conducted orchestras in Asheville, NC, and St. Louis, MO. He was music director of the York Symphony Orchestra and Chorus from 1983 to 2014. He is currently director of music for the Belleville (IL) Philharmonic Society and professor of oboe at Lindenwood University.

Dr. Truman C. Bullard

Dr. Truman C. Bullard, music director 2001-2004

Dr. Bullard earned degrees in philosophy from Haverford College, musicology from Harvard University, and his Ph.D. in Musicology from the Eastman School of Music. He is a visiting lecturer in Musicology at Eastman, and was Professor of Music and Director of the College Choir at Dickinson College, PA, from 1965 to 2000. He is currently retired and performs as a bassonist for local ensembles.

Dr. Simon W. Andrews

Dr. Simon W. Andrews, music director 1997-2001

Dr. Andrews was born in Croydon, Great Britain, and earned degrees in music composition from Christ Church, Oxford University and the Royal Academy of Music, and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. He was professor of music and Director of Choral Activities at Franklin and Marshall College, PA, and Chair of the Choral Department at the Pennsylvania Academy of Music. He is actively composing and is currently on the staff of Indian Hill Music School.

Dr. Teresa R. Bowers

Dr. Teresa R. Bowers, interim music director 1997

Dr. Bowers earned her degree in music education from Susquehanna University, Masters in Music from Ohio State University, and her Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Maryland. She served on the faculty of Lebanon Valley College as professor of flute and teaching choral conducting and literature. She is currently professor of flute at Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College.

Dr. Robert C. Lau

Dr. Robert C. Lau, music director 1993-1996

Dr. Lau earned degrees from Lebanon Valley College, The Eastman School of Music and The Catholic University of America. He was a member of the faculty of Lebanon Valley College from 1968-1989 as professor of music and chairing the Department of Music, and an adjunct professor at Penn State University, Harrisburg. He is currently retired and performing in the Harrisburg region.

Dr. Paul G. Fisher

Dr. Paul G. Fisher, interim music director 1993

Dr. Fisher earned degrees from Lebanon Valley College, the Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, and the University of Michigan. He was principal horn for the Harrisburg Symphony for over 32 years, and taught at Lebanon Valley College and Millersville University. Dr. Fisher passed away in 2008.

Donald L. Clapper

Donald L. Clapper, music director 1956-1992

Mr. Clapper was born in Altoona, and earned his Bachelors in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He served in the US Army in 1950, then studied organ performance and conducting from Westminster Choir College, NJ. He was appointed Minister of Music at Pine Street Presbyterian Church in Harrisburg in 1954, and director of the Harrisburg Choral Society in 1956. He retired from his music ministry in 1998. Mr. Clapper passed away in 2012.

Abram J. Dewhirst

Abram J. Dewhirst, music director 1952-1955

Mr. Dewhirst was a fixture of the musical culture of Harrisburg during the 1940s and 50s. He worked with the Harrisburg Community Theater and with other musical ensembles in the city.

Dr. Edward P. Rutledge

Dr. Edward P. Rutledge, music director 1948-1952

Dr. Rutledge was professor of music at Lebanon Valley College, PA beginning in 1931.

Martha Roberts

Martha Roberts, music director 1945-1948

Ms. Roberts was a professionally trained vocalist, performing in the mid-atlantic region. She was director of the Altoona Vespers Singers and the Altoona Choral Society, as well as teaching voice in studios in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Jean Beghon

Jean Beghon, music director 1944-1945

Mr. Beghon is a native of Belgium and a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music there. He was active as a performer and composer in the United States.

John Lewis Roberts

John Lewis Roberts, music director 1937-1944

Mr. Roberts was born in Wales, was a wounded veteran of World War I, and emigrated to the US to study music at Columbia University. He was appointed professor of music at Susquehanna University in 1924, and was the founder of the Mendelssohn Club of Sunbury, PA.

Willy Richter, conductor 1933

Ward-Stephens

Ward-Stephens, music director (May/Mozart Festival) 1927-1931

Ward-Stephens began his musical training in New York City in his youth, and spent nine years in Europe studying composition with Massenet, Saint-Saens, and others. He toured Europe as pianist and organist before returning to the US as assistant conductor of the Manhattan Opera House. Stephens also toured nationally with performers such as Victor Herbert and Fritz Kreisler.

George F. Austen, music director (May Festival) 1924-1925

Bernard L. Maussert

Bernard L. Maussert, music director (May Festival) 1921-1923

 

J. Fred Wolle

J. Fred Wolle, music director 1913-1916

Mr. Wolle studied organ in Philadelphia, and studied in Munich, Germany at the Royal Conservatory of Music. He was music minister for serveral churches in Bethlehem, PA, and founded the Bach Choir of Bethlehem in 1903. Mr. Wolle also was on the faculty of the University of California (PA).

William Wallace Gilchrist

William Wallace Gilchrist, founding music director 1895-1913

Dr. Gilchrist studied organ and composition in Philadelphia. He founded and led many ensembles in the Philadelphia area, including the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia and the Symphony Society of Philadelphia. Dr. Gilchrist was a founding member of the American Guild of Organists, and head of voice instruction at the Philadelphia Music Academy.

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