Director, Jacksonville Symphony Chorus
Tom Zimmerman Endowed Chair
Hailed by the Washington Post for his “dazzling expertise,” Donald McCullough is considered one of America’s pre-eminent choral conductors. Mr. McCullough conducted the Master Chorale of Washington at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for more than a decade before becoming the new director of the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus for the 2012-2013 season.
During Mr. McCullough’s tenure with the Master Chorale, the 120-member symphonic chorus performed sixteen world premieres, produced three nationally distributed CD's, performed throughout Central Europe on two international tours, received The Margaret Hillis Achievement Award for Choral Excellence in North America, performed in New York in such renowned venues as Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall and Riverside Church, and became the chorus of choice for the National Symphony Orchestra, performing with such renowned conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Kurt Masur and Ivan Fischer. The Chorale became known for singing "with an innate sense of lyricism and musical poise" (Washington Post) in performances that were described as "sensitive, scrupulous and heartfelt" (Washington Post).
Mr. McCullough is also a composer whose works have been critically acclaimed throughout the United States, Canada and Europe and are represented by several publishers. At the invitation of German and Polish consulates, Mr. McCullough led the Master Chorale in the European premiere of one of his most moving compositions, Holocaust Cantata: Songs from the Camps, at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial, as well as in Krakow, Dresden and Berlin during the European commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII.
Previously, Mr. McCullough was the founder and music director of two Norfolk-based choruses: the Virginia Chorale, which remains the State of Virginia’s only professional choral ensemble, and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Holding bachelor’s degrees in organ and vocal performance from Stetson University and master’s degrees in sacred music and vocal performance from Southern Methodist University, his diverse experience – as a conductor, music director, composer and clinician – gives him valuable insights into the needs and abilities of all variety of choirs. A native of Jacksonville, Mr. McCullough now resides in Atlantic Beach and his music can be found at www.donaldmccullough.com.
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