Yale Choral Artists

The Yale Choral Artists is a professional choir recently founded by the Yale School of Music and the Yale Glee Club to enhance and enrich Yale’s strong commitment to the choral arts. The choir is a project-based ensemble comprised of leading singers from around the country and is directed by School of Music faculty member Jeffrey Douma. Current members of the Choral Artists also perform in the ranks of such acclaimed ensembles as the Trinity Wall Street Choir, Chanticleer, the Handel and Haydn Society Chorus, the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus, Voices of Ascension, Conspirare, and many others, and are also leading concert soloists, particularly in the area of early music.

The Yale Choral Artists made their debut in an all-Handel program led by guest conductor William Christie at Yale and in Zankel Hall in February of 2012. They have since performed as a featured ensemble at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, the Yale International Choral Festival, and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, have appeared in two productions with the renowned Mark Morris Dance Group, and have presented premiere performances of new works by Hannah Lash, Ted Hearne, and David Lang. Recent projects include their first collaboration with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra in a program of Britten and Pärt, a performance of David Lang’s The National Anthems and Frank Martin’s Mass for Double Choir, a program of motets from the 15th century to the present day, an appearance at the New York Philharmonic Biennial, and a performance of new works by Yale composers Hannah Lash, David Lang, and Ted Hearne with the Yale Philharmonia. In June 2017, they performed to much acclaim the premiere of Martin Bresnick’s new oratorio Passions of Bloom: Whitman, Melville, Dickinson.

Jeffrey Douma

Jeffrey Douma

Since the fall of 2003, Jeffrey Douma has served as director of the Yale Glee Club, hailed under his direction by The New York Times as “one of the best collegiate singing ensembles, and one of the most adventurous.” He also serves as professor of conducting at the Yale School of Music, where he teaches in the graduate choral program, as founding director of the Yale Choral Artists, and as artistic director of the Yale International Choral Festival.

Douma has appeared as a guest conductor with choruses and orchestras on six continents, including the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore’s Metropolitan Festival Orchestra, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Daejeon Philharmonic Choir, Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Solistas de la Habana, Istanbul’s Tekfen Philharmonic, Norway’s Edvard Grieg Kor, the Symphony Choir of Johannesburg, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and the Central Conservatory’s EOS Orchestra in Beijing, as well as the Yale Philharmonia and Yale Symphony Orchestra. He also currently serves as musical director of the Yale Alumni Chorus, which he has led on eight international tours.

Choirs under his direction have performed in Leipzig’s Neues Gewandhaus, Dvořák Hall in Prague, St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Notre Dame de Paris, Singapore’s Esplanade, Argentina’s Teatro Colon, the Oriental Arts Center in Shanghai, Avery Fisher Hall, and Carnegie Hall, and he has prepared choruses for performances under such eminent conductors as William Christie, Valery Gergiev, Sir Neville Marriner, Sir David Willcocks, Dale Warland, Krzysztof Penderecki, Nicholas McGegan, and Helmuth Rilling.

Douma has presented at state, divisional, and national conventions of the ACDA and NCCO, and the Yale Glee Club appeared as a featured ensemble at the 2009 NCCO National Conference and the 2012 ACDA Eastern Division Convention. Active with musicians of all ages, Douma served for four years on the conducting faculty at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, America’s premier training ground for high school age musicians, conducting the Concert Choir, Women’s Choir, and Festival Choir. He frequently serves as a clinician for festivals and honors choirs. Recent engagements include conducting master classes at the China International Chorus Festival, the University of Michigan School of Music, the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, the Hochschule der Künste in Zurich, and the Berlin Radio Choir’s International Masterclass. In January and February 2017 he was in residence at Luther College as the visiting conductor of the internationally renowned Nordic Choir and in April 2017 was in residence at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.

An advocate of new music, Douma established the Yale Glee Club Emerging Composers Competition and Fenno Heath Award, and has premiered new works by such composers as Jennifer Higdon, Dominick Argento, Bright Sheng, Ned Rorem, Jan Sandström, Ted Hearne, Hannah Lash, Theodore Morrison, Rene Clausen, Lewis Spratlan, and James Macmillan. He also serves as the editor of the Yale Glee Club New Classics Choral Series, published by Boosey & Hawkes. His original compositions are published by G. Schirmer and Boosey & Hawkes. A tenor, Douma has appeared as an ensemble member and soloist with many of the nation’s leading professional choirs, including the Dale Warland Singers, Bella Voce of Chicago, the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus, and the Robert Shaw Festival Singers.

In the spring of 2003, Douma was one of only two North American conductors invited to compete for the first Eric Ericson Award, the premier international competition for choral conductors. Prior to his appointment at Yale he served as director of choral activities at Carroll College and also taught on the conducting faculties of Smith College and St. Cloud State University.

Douma earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Concordia College, in Moorhead, Minnesota, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Michigan. He lives in Hamden, Connecticut, with his wife, pianist and conductor Erika Schroth, and their two children, Sofia and Will.