DR. ROBERT PARRISH, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Robert Parrish has been hailed throughout the East for the assurance of his conducting, the power of his performances and the musicality of his interpretations.
This reputation was gathered over a thirty-one year career at The College of New Jersey, where for twenty-one of those years Dr. Parrish was Artistic Director of its Opera Theatre. Dr. Parrish was named successor to founding Artistic Director Byron Steele in 1983. During the next tweny-one years, he built upon the traditions established by Professor Steele, expanded the number of yearly performances, programmed many regional premiers and cultivated new performance opportunities.
In addition to his duties as Artistic Director, he was also Music Department Chairperson from 1990 until his retirement in 2002. Upon his retirement from the college he was awarded the title Professor Emeritus of Music.
Outside of the academic community, Dr. Parrish has had an active conducting career in regional opera houses and concert halls. He continues his active conducting schedule to this day.
Dr. Parrish is also Music Director of the Hillwood Singers, a choral ensemble of international singers that serves each year as Choir in Residence at one of England's historic Medieval cathedrals. Members of the ensemble represent a broad range of countries including England, Germany, Belgium, Finland, and the United States. As Choir in Residence, the ensemble assumes all of the duties of the resident cathedral choir while it is on holiday. An average one-week residency will see the choir perform at daily services of Choral Evensong as well as for weekend masses and mattins. This schedule results in the choir preparing more than 35 pieces of music to be presented during each week, with only one or two works ever being repeated.
He was also affiliated with Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Trenton, New Jersey where it was his great fortune to work with Albert Ludecke, cathedral organist and choirmaster, and to serve as conductor for festival services and concerts. Under his direction the Cathedral Choir performed Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, Richard Wayne Dirksen's Mass, Albert Ludecke's Gloria and Te Deum and the world premier of Eugene Copeland's Passion According to St. Matthew. While at Trinity Cathedral, it was his pleasure to work with world renowned composer and organist Maurice Duruflé and to perform at Washington National Cathedral.
Today, Dr. Parrish dedicates his enormous energy to the success of Musica Sacra of Sarasota.