Milwaukee Children's Choir has hired Marco Melendez as its new artistic director, beginning with the 2012-2013 season. Mr. Melendez, who showed exceptional musical talent when he began conducting at the age of fifteen, takes the reins as the choir's artistic director on Sept. 3, 2012 at the age of 27.
"Mr. Melendez joins Milwaukee Children's Choir at a time when its mission of helping unify people from diverse backgrounds through music is especially important," said David Dorgan, president of Milwaukee Children's Choir. "I'm pleased to welcome an award-winning artist like Marco to lead the Choir," said Mr. Dorgan.
"I envision furthering the legacies of former artistic directors Emily Crocker and Carol Storck,in continuing to strive for ever higher artistic excellence and respect throughout the country," said Mr. Melendez.
"Mr. Melendez's exceptional talent and musical passion combined with his youthful and outgoing personality will inspire a new generation of Choir singers," said Mr. Walter Boyer, who served as artistic advisor for Milwaukee Children's Choir while the organization conducted its search for artistic director.
A native of San Angelo, Texas, Marco Antonio Melendez began his musical career as a member of the world renowned American Boychoir, performing in venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center and with renowned musical figures such as Dr. James Litton, Dr. Joseph Flummerfelt, Yo-Yo Ma, Andre Previn, Wynton Marsalis, and Kurt Masur.
"If I can give even a small percentage of the experience I had with the American Boychoir back to any student of music in America, I will have completed my personal life journey," said Mr. Melendez.
Prior to joining Milwaukee Children's Choir, Mr. Melendez was director of music ministries and accompanist at St. Lawrence O'Toole - St. Cyril Catholic Church in Oakland, California, and music teacher for Saint Anthony Immaculate Conception School in San Francisco. Mr. Melendez has extensive experience in choral music leadership and education, including directing the Piedmont East Bay Children's Choirs and the Southwest Texas Children's Choir, founding the Princeton Academy Choir, and conducting a variety of community adult and children's choir groups.
At the age of fifteen, Mr. Melendez was named the music director of the San Angelo Singing Boys of San Angelo, Texas. Two years later, he founded the Marco Melendez Vocal Music Institute to provide young, dedicated vocal musicians with advanced musical training.
Mr. Melendez's musical talent has been recognized through several local and national awards. He was one of 49 individuals nationwide to receive the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts annual merit award. Mr. Melendez has a Master of Music in vocal pedagogy from Holy Names University in Oakland, California, and a Bachelor of Music in sacred music from Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey.
Milwaukee Children's Choir provides exceptional choral music instruction and performance experiences that foster creativity, personal expression and social growth.A member of the United Performing Arts Fund, Milwaukee Children's Choir provides once-in-a-lifetime performance opportunities for singers through its relationships with the area's finest performing arts organizations, including the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Ballet, Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and others. For more information about Milwaukee Children's Choir, visit www.milwaukeechildrenschoir.org.