Music Director

 

 Since 1995, MARINA ALEXANDER can count many triumphs during her tenure as Music Director of Richmond Choral Society. Under her guidance, the ensemble has almost doubled in size, and brought a wide range of exciting music to the community. In May 2011, she led the ensemble in “Choral Classics,” a celebration of its 60th Anniversary and past triumphs. In May 2001, the ensemble celebrated 50 years of bringing great music to Staten Island, singing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” from his 9th Symphony, which it then reprised at Carnegie Hall. That concert also included the world premiere of an English translation Ms. Alexander created for a rediscovered Ode to Joy by Tchaikovsky, the second performance ever of that piece in the United States. Known for her scholarship, she produces many new editions of choral music, and composed a new completion of the “Lacrymosa” for Mozart’s Requiem, conducting that piece with Richmond Choral Society in May 2002.

 

In 1993, Ms. Alexander founded The Arcadian Chorale, based in Monmouth County, NJ. Under her leadership, that group has established a reputation for musical innovation and excellence, and is now one of the most active ensembles in the state. Committed to creating a permanent record of its work, the group has released 14 recordings.

 

Leading both ensembles, she made her Carnegie Hall debut in November 2002, conducting Dvorak’s Te Deum. At that same performance, she led the choruses and orchestra in the World Premiere of her orchestration of Bainton’ s And I Saw A New Heaven. In 2004, her ensembles made their debut performance at NJPAC singing Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony.

 

In 2004, Ms. Alexander was named Music Director of the Metropolitan Greek Chorale in Manhattan, and has performed works from both the Eastern and Western traditions with that ensemble, including premieres of works in the Byzantine style and several of her own compositions.

 

Ms. Alexander is also Assistant Professor of Choral Music at the College of Staten Island-CUNY, where she teaches Conducting and Music History. She leads open sings for her own ensembles, as well as the New York Choral Society, and has appeared at Lincoln Center for the National Choral Council’s annual
Messiah Sing. She teaches conducting privately, and often appears as a clinician and guest speaker at choral workshops and music festivals.

 

Ms. Alexander holds a Masters Degree in Conducting from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and was subsequently invited to teach there as Interim Director of the Department of Choral Music. From that same institution, she earned a BFA in Stage Directing for Opera, and then worked with opera companies and festivals both here and abroad. These include the Santa Fe Opera, New Jersey State Opera, Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Lake George Opera and the Corfu International Music Festival.

 

Ms. Alexander has been nominated by Fleet Bank for its Small Business Leadership Awards, and has been honored by the Business Professional Women of Staten Island as a Woman of Achievement.  Ms. Alexander was chosen by the Daughters of Penelope as their 2011 Honoree for the Salute to Women, as a woman who is Greek or a Philhellene that has achieved a high level within her profession, as an excellent role model and inspiration to all

 

headerJONATHAN RYAN Accompanist

Acclaimed by critics and audiences for his strong communicative skills in numerous styles, Jonathan Ryan enjoys a diverse musical life encompassing solo performances, collaboration, conducting, premieres, and education. He is pleased to join Richmond Choral Society.

 

A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music (BM) and the Eastman School of Music (MM) where he studied organ, conducting, piano, and voice, he ranks among the few organists distinguished with six first prize awards at major international and national competitions. Upcoming and recent solo performances have taken him to celebrated venues such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, London (UK), the Nicolaikirche in Leipzig (Germany), the Cathédrale St-André in Bordeaux (France), the Piccolo Spoleto Festival’s Spotlight Series (Charleston, SC), the inaugural concert series of the Cathedral of Christ the Light (Oakland, CA), and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists (Boston, 2014) and the Organ Historical Society (Pittsburgh, 2010 and Chicago, 2012). His début solo organ recording, A Cathedral’s Voice, was released in 2012 on the Raven label to critical acclaim.

 

As a conductor, he has directed children’s' choirs, professional choirs, chamber orchestras, and the premiere of commissioned works by Colin Mawby and Zachary Wadsworth. He maintains a special interest in Gregorian chant, early music, and new music. Also a dedicated church musician, Jonathan serves on the music staff of Christ Church (Episcopal) in Greenwich, CT where he directs the church’s semi-professional adult choir, works with the Choir of Men and Boys and the Girls Choir, shares organ playing responsibilities, and maintains an active role in the church’s concert series.