The Bienen School of Music will be welcoming a new choral director for fall, Donald Nally, after current director Robert Harris retires from his 35-year tenure.
Nally has worked extensively as a conductor and a chorus master for various professional chorus groups and opera choruses for the past 25 years. As he transitions into Bienen, he will continue his work with The Crossing, a Philadelphia professional chorus dedicated to performing contemporary choral music, and the Chicago Bach Project, an annual performance of Bach’s masterpieces.
“I’m not really a person who engages pride as a part of me, but...if I did...I would say that my work in such a wide in such a variety of music and the success of my choirs...is something that has been a highlight of my career,” Nally said.
Currently, Nally is a visiting professor in conducting at Indiana University and University of Illinois. However, he spent a majority of his career as a chorus master for Lyric Opera of Chicago, Welsh National Opera and the Opera Company of Philadelphia.
“Spending years and years as a chorus master, those are the things that I look back on and feel like I accomplished something,” Nally said.
Nally has won numerous awards, including the Chorus America Louis Botto Award in 2012 and the Chorus America Margaret Hillis National Award for Excellence in Choral Music in 2002.
“I am really grateful for the vote of confidence of the administration and the faculty in bringing me on board,” Nally said. “Bob Harris, who is preceding me, has had a very distinguished tenure, so it’s an established program with a real legacy from him, so it’s an honor.”