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Jacobs School of Music welcomes new choral conducting faculty, including Singing Hoosiers director

For Immediate Release Jul 6, 2017

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music welcomes Chris Albanese and Carolann Buff to its Department of Choral Conducting faculty beginning Aug. 1. Each will join as assistant professor of music in choral conducting, and Albanese will be director of the Singing Hoosiers.

As Singing Hoosiers director, Albanese will hold the Pam and Jack Burks Professorship, established in 1999.

“The Singing Hoosiers have always played such an important role in our lives as well as in the lives of thousands of IU students and alumni,” the Burkses said. “Their history is one of tradition, and their future is one of promise. We are confident that Chris Albanese’s guidance of this storied ensemble, and the talents of these bright students, will make the entire IU family proud.”

“The director of the Singing Hoosiers interacts with many constituent groups, all of whom share a passion and commitment for the ensemble, its history, and its present-day mission,” said Gwyn Richards, the David Henry Jacobs Bicentennial Dean. “So a new director must possess a wealth of musical, communicative and personal skills to meet the high expectations of the Hoosiers’ many supporters. Chris Albanese is that person, and we look forward to his work with our students and our alumni, as he realizes his vision for the future of the Singing Hoosiers.”

Albanese was previously a member of the Grammy Award-winning ensemble Chanticleer, under the direction of William Fred Scott. Referred to as “the world’s reigning male chorus” by The New Yorker, Chanticleer performs a variety of repertoire ranging from early music to pop and jazz in more than 120 yearly concerts across the United States and internationally.

At the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Albanese served as conductor of the men’s chorus while also leading the university’s men’s and women’s choruses in several performances. Additionally, he served in the roles of chorus master and assistant conductor for mainstage and undergraduate opera productions, respectively.

Albanese served on the choral faculties of Xavier University and Archbishop McNicholas High School in Cincinnati. He has facilitated master classes throughout the United States and Europe and has presented clinics for the Ohio Music Education Association, Music America, Chanticleer Youth Choral Festival and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

“Chris Albanese’s unique combination of skills and experience, both as a choral conductor and a professional singer in Chanticleer, will be a boon to the Singing Hoosiers and the choral conducting department,” said department chair Betsy Burleigh. ”We can’t wait for him to get to campus.”

“I’m incredibly excited for the opportunity to join the faculty at the Jacobs School and to be working with the Singing Hoosiers,” Albanese said. “The ensemble’s rich history and infectious energy make it a vital part of the musical life on campus and in the state of Indiana. I can’t wait to get started.”

Buff is a scholar, teacher and musician regarded for both her research on late medieval motets and her expertise in historical performance. Her principal research interests include 14th- and early 15th-century musical style, but she is equally at home in the study of sacred music repertoires from all eras, as well as contemporary popular music.

“It is a thrill for our school to once again have a choral scholar amongst our choral faculty and students,” Richards said. “Carolann’s time with our students was exciting for its transfer of knowledge, depth and breadth of understanding, and the superior pedagogical skills she utilized. Everyone she met now waits with great anticipation of her arrival in the fall.”

“The choral conducting department is thrilled to welcome Carolann Buff to our faculty,” Burleigh said. “The choral repertoire seminar Carolann taught when visiting Bloomington sparked instant and huge enthusiasm from students and faculty alike. Her expertise as a performer of Renaissance music, as well as her accomplishments as a scholar, perfectly complement our existing faculty members.”

A specialist in historical performance, Buff appears frequently with several early music ensembles and as a soloist with numerous period instrument orchestras. She is a founding member of the internationally renowned medieval trio Liber unUsualis and recorded two critically acclaimed CDs of 14th-century polyphony with the ensemble, “Unrequited: Machaut and the French Ars Nova” and “Flyleaves: Music in English Manuscripts.”

She has also performed with the women’s ensemble Tapestry and can be heard on its “Sapphire Night” CD, which received the 2005 ECHO Klassik prize in Germany.

Buff was previously assistant professor of choral musicology in the Department of Conducting, Organ and Sacred Music at Westminster Choir College of Rider University.

“I am truly excited about this new opportunity,” Buff said. “It is a great honor to join the distinguished faculty at such an esteemed institution. I am so pleased there is such interest in the field of choral musicology, and I look forward to sharing my scholarship and performance expertise with the students there.”

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IU Jacobs School of Music

Linda Cajigas

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