Music Chair to Conduct National President’s Day Choral Festival
Publication Date: 2/18/2011
Dr. William Skoog, chair of the Department of Music at Rhodes College, will conduct the National President’s Day Choral Festival in Washington D.C. Skoog is the founding artistic director of the festival, which will feature the Rhodes Singers and visiting choirs from across the country, including singers from Overton High School in Memphis.
Performances include “Prelude to Evensong” at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 20 at the Washington National Cathedral and “A Choral Salute to America’s Greatest Presidents--George Washington and Abraham Lincoln” at 2 p.m. on Feb. 21 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The festival is presented by Music Celebrations International as a national event recognizing President’s Day.
For the Kennedy Center performance, Skoog will conduct Gustav Holst’s “Homeland,” arranged by Z. Randall Stroope; Samuel Barber’s “Agnus Dei” (Adagio for Strings); a series of Aaron Copland’s vocal works for chorus and solo baritone, and “Memorial,” written by Rene Clausen “for victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks and all victims of senseless violence.”
Director of choral studies at Rhodes, Skoog conducts the Rhodes MasterSingers Chorale with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra in addition to the Rhodes Singers. He has conducted other collegiate choirs with the Toledo Symphony (Ohio), the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra (Ind.), the Elkhart Symphony and Chorus (Ind.), the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Moravian Symphony Orchestra. In 2008, Skoog served as a featured artistic director and conductor of the distinguished Lucerne Choral Festival in Switzerland conducing 11 choirs from throughout the United States with the Santa Maria Orchestra from Lucerne.
In addition, Skoog is a champion of new music, and choral ensembles under his direction have performed and premiered numerous pieces as part of the New Music and Art Festival for Mid American Center for Contemporary Music, an international festival held at Bowling Green State University. Skoog holds a doctorate in music from the University of Northern Colorado, master’s degrees from Denver University Lamont School of Music in vocal pedagogy and performance and conducting, and a bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus College.