First Year at Xavier University:
Originally, from Cincinnati, Mr. Matthew Phelps is proud be returning to Xavier University as adjunct faculty and conductor of the Concert Choir. For the last 4 years Mr. Phelps has been the Director of Music at the Reformed Church of Bronxville, NY; one of the largest music programs in the metropolitan New York City area. Mr. Phelps led the Chancel Choir in performances of Faure’s Requiem, Handel’s Jubilate, Conte’s Three Sacred Pieces, Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna, Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, Haydn’s Te Deum, and Gounod’s St. Cecilia Mass along with weekly performances of sacred masterworks that spanned six centuries at the church’s worship service. An advocate for American music, Mr. Phelps worked directly with such notable composers as David Conte, Dan Locklair, and David Macdonald. During his tenure at the Reformed Church, Mr. Phelps’ efforts as a conductor were recognized nationally by the American Prize in Choral Conducting which selected him as a finalist for the 2012 prize in choral conducting and the Chancel Choir of the Reformed Church of Bronxville as a semi-finalist for the 2012 prize in choral performance.
Mr. Phelps is an active as guest conductor and clinician. In 2011 Mr. Phelps led the Danbury Concert Chorus in a critically lauded performance of Bloch’s Sacred Service with baritone Scott Wheatley. In 2010 Mr. Phelps was guest conductor for the Concordia College’s performance of Bach Cantata no. 80. He has led clinics and workshops with the Hudson Valley Chorale, Concordia College, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, and has assisted on the music staffs of numerous high schools as a specialist in musical theater conducting. He has published articles on rehearsal techniques and church music issues with the National Pastoral Musician Association, and Today’s Parish Minister. He has also published choral pieces with Kjos Music Publishing and Roger Dean Publishing. At home with popular music as well, Mr. Phelps conducted the WGUC Radio singers in Jo Dee Messina’s Holiday concerts at the Taft Theater in Cincinnati.
Before moving to New York, Mr. Phelps was the music director of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church in Cincinnati, music director of Women in Song, and adjunct faculty at Xavier University where he was active as a conductor, lecturer, and organist. Mr. Phelps also served as an assistant and accompanist to the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Boychoir, and the Dayton Philharmonic Chorus. For two years, Mr. Phelps was the conductor of the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra chorus where he prepared the chorus for performances of Carmina Burana, Verdi’s Othello, Schoenberg’s Survivor from Warsaw, and led the chorus in a performance of Rutter’s Gloria.
As an organist, Mr. Phelps has played recitals throughout the nation, most notably St. Mary the Virgin in Times Square; and was artist in residence at the Church of St. Francis Xavier in Manhattan. As a member of the artist roster of Distinguished Concerts International, Mr. Phelps has been the accompanist and organ soloist for conductors such as Vance George, Jonathon Griffiths, Timothy Seelig, Kevin Riehle, and Judith Wilouhgby. Mr. Phelps is currently a doctoral student in choral conducting at the College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati where he studies with Dr. Brett Scott, Professor Mark Gibson and Dr. Earl Rivers.