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IU Jacobs School of Music appoints Walter Huff to choral faculty


August 7, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music is pleased to announce that renowned opera chorus master Walter Huff will join its faculty as adjunct associate professor of music (choral conducting) this fall, pending approval of the Trustees of Indiana University.

"The Choral Department of the Jacobs School of Music is pleased to welcome Walter Huff," said William Jon Gray, chair of the school's Choral Conducting Department. "Mr. Huff's extensive experience as one of the top opera chorus masters in the United States will be a significant addition to the department as we begin to develop a unique and unprecedented comprehensive professional training program for opera chorus masters within the graduate choral conducting curriculum. His position in the school will continue our mission to train and develop vocal performance majors and conductors to the highest professional standards in all of our opera productions."

"It is thrilling to hear that Walter Huff will be joining the faculty of the Jacobs School," said Arthur Fagen, professor of orchestral conducting. "I have known Walter's work for many years and consider him to be one of the finest opera chorus masters working today. In addition, he is an excellent vocal coach with an enormous repertoire."

"It is truly an honor to join the faculty of the Jacobs School of Music," said Huff. "I am thrilled that the Jacobs administration and choral department have moved, with this position, toward the vision of elevating and perpetuating the art of an opera chorus. It is such a unique opportunity in the field of choral/opera education, to be able to prepare and guide students in each production's ensemble, plus have the privilege to mentor certain conducting students in the specialized art form of chorus mastering."

Along with his responsibilities at the Jacobs School, Huff will continue his duties as Atlanta Opera Chorus master. He has been chorus master for The Atlanta Opera since 1988, preparing the chorus in more than 80 productions, receiving critical acclaim in the United States and abroad.

In 1996, The Atlanta Opera Chorus performed as part of the Cultural Olympiad during the Centennial Olympic Games. In 2008, the chorus, under Huff's direction, sang 23 critically acclaimed performances of Porgy and Bess at Opéra-Comique in Paris and on tour in Granada, Normandy and Luxembourg. Members of the chorus were featured on P.D.Q. Bach's Oedipus Tex and Other Choral Calamities, which won a Grammy® Award for best comedy recording in 1990. The chorus also can be heard on a recording of Mozart's Requiem (ACA Digital), recorded at St. Philip's Cathedral in Atlanta, Ga., in 1997.

Huff received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory and his Master of Music degree from Peabody Conservatory (Johns Hopkins). He studied piano with Sarah Martin, Peter Takacs and Lillian Freundlich, and voice with Flore Wend. He has performed with singers throughout Europe and the United States and served as coach with the Peabody Opera Theatre and Washington Opera. He has performed in numerous master classes given by renowned singers and pianists.

After serving as a fellow at Tanglewood Music Center, Huff received Tanglewood's C.D. Jackson Master Award for Excellence. He has been musical director for The Atlanta Opera Studio, Georgia State University Opera and Actor's Express (Atlanta, Ga.). He also has worked as chorus master with San Diego Opera.

Huff served on the faculty at Georgia State University for four years as assistant professor, guest lecturer and conductor for the Georgia State University Choral Society. Recently, he was one of four Atlanta artists chosen for the first Loridans Arts Awards, given to Atlanta artists who have made exceptional contributions to the arts life of Atlanta over a long period of time.

While serving as chorus master for The Atlanta Opera, Huff has been the music director for The Atlanta Opera High School Opera Institute, a nine-month training program for talented, classically trained high school singers. In addition, he maintains a busy vocal coaching studio in Atlanta.