Berkshire Choral Festival


We can’t help boasting: BCF has a great reputation. Recognized conductors often seek us out. The experience of turning a diverse group of passionate amateurs into a tight-knit chorus in the space of a week is as invigorating for them as it is for you.

Winter Park, Florida

John Sinclair

May 31–June 8

One of Florida's most visible musicians, Dr. John V. Sinclair, DMA, is celebrating his 20th season as artistic director and conductor of the Bach Festival in Winter Park. He is chair of the department of music and is the John M. Tiedtke Professor of Music at Rollins College. He also conductor of the International Moravian Music Festivals.

Under Dr. Sinclair’s tenure, the Bach Festival Choir has achieved international recognition, touring extensively in Europe, producing a nationally released CD, and performing with the London Symphony Orchestra during its Florida residencies. Dr. Sinclair is known for creative interpretations, an expressive conducting style, and innovative programming.

Dr. Sinclair conducts the Walt Disney World Candlelight Processional at EPCOT and has conducted recordings for Warner Brothers, the Walt Disney Corporation, Moravian Music Foundation, and the Bach Festival. He conducts approximately 150 performances each year. Over the past 15 years, he has made more than 700 appearances throughout the United States and overseas as conductor, clinician, or lecturer, including conducting a principal mass at St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City.

A master teacher, Dr. Sinclair has received many awards while at Rollins, including the Hugh F. McKean Teaching Award, the Arthur Vining Davis Fellowship, and the Lifetime Achievement Award. United Arts of Central Florida has twice named him Outstanding Music Educator of the Year, and Florida International Magazine selected him as one of their Power Players in the Arts.

Dr. Sinclair founded the Rollins College Community School of Music and the Bach Society’s arts-in-education program, FreshStARTS, which takes innovative music programs to thousands of public school students in central Florida each year.

Maynooth, Ireland

Joseph Cullen

June 21–29

Choral maestro, organist, church musician, and teacher Joseph Cullen is  much in demand in the United Kingdom and worldwide. Since 1999, he has been associated with the Huddersfield Choral Society, the UK’s leading choral society, as chorus master. In a unique partnership with conductor Martyn Brabbins, Cullen has broadened the horizons and technical prowess of this renowned choir, touring with them to festivals as far away as Osaka, Japan.

With HCS, Joseph recently completed a trilogy of recordings of popular works on the Signum label, conducting John Stainer’s Crucifixion in its original version with organ accompaniment. He also conducted the British premiere of Jonathan Harvey’s Messages with the chorus and the orchestra of Opera North. He brought HCS to the Barbican Hall to conduct Handel’s Messiah to an ecstatic audience, the culmination of HCS’s 175th anniversary year.

For a decade, Joseph has earned glowing reviews for his leadership of the London Symphony Chorus, which he has conducted in London, the United States, Eire, and Italy. His work with the LSC has garnered two Grammy awards. Recently, on his final tour with the LSO, he assisted Sir Colin Davis (one of many esteemed conductors with whom he as collaborated) with Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis at the BBC Proms and in Bonn, Paris, and New York City.

Scheggino, Italy

Colin Baldy

September 6-14

A part-time resident of Scheggino, Colin Baldy is a performer, teacher, writer, and director. He serves as artistic director for Hand Made Opera, which he co-founded in 2000, and for Maldon Festival of Arts, both in the United Kingdom. He has directed productions of Cosi Fan Tutte, Le Nozze di Figaro, Il Seraglio, Trial by Jury, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, The Old Maid and the Thief, L’enfant et les Sortileges, Riders to the Sea, Dido and Aeneas, Venus and Adonis, and more.

Colin was for many years the singing teacher at New College, University of Oxford. Now, however, he splits most of his teaching time between London and Umbria. The balance is spent teaching around the world, including as a visiting professor at Utah State University and on the Cisternino choral course in Italy. He is also director of the Scheggino Advanced Course for Singers.

As a singer, Colin is known principally as a character baritone, having worked for many years with companies such as Garsington Opera, Opera Restor’d, the New Savoyards, Opera Interludes, Country Opera, and others. His many roles have included Sempronio (Lo Speziale), Don Alfonso (Cosi fan Tutte), Geronimo (Il Matrimonio Segreto), Bartolo (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Sorceress (Dido and Aeneas). In addition, he has performed contemporary music with such groups as the London Sinfonietta and New Chamber Opera. On the concert platform, he has appeared with the Britten Sinfonia, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Southern Camerata (under David Hill), L’Orchestra National de Picardie, and L’Orchestra National de Lille, to name a few.

Sheffield, Massachusetts

Rollo Dilworth

July 13-20

An oft-published composer of choral music, especially spirituals and gospel-inspired works, Rollo Dilworth is associate professor of choral music education at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music in Philadelphia. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, he conducts the University Chorale.

Prior to his 2009 Temple University appointment, Rollo was director of the music education and choral programs at North Park University in Chicago (1996-2009). He has a bachelor of science in music education from Case Western Reserve University, an M.Ed. from University of Missouri, St. Louis, and a DMA from Northwestern University.

Tom Hall

July 20-27

Tom Hall is one of the most highly regarded performers in choral music today. Appointed music director of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society in 1982, Tom has added more than 100 new works to the BCAS repertoire, premiering works by internationally acclaimed contemporary composers such as Peter Schickele, Libby Larsen, Robert Sirota, James Lee, III, Rosephanye Dunn Powell, and many others. He has also been director of choral activities at Goucher College for 31 years.

Active as a guest conductor in the United States and Europe, Tom has appeared with the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, the Berkshire Choral Festival, Musica Sacra in New York, and Britten Sinfonia in Canterbury, England. His 2005 concert with Orchestre de Chambre de Paris was broadcast on French television. He has prepared choruses for Leonard Bernstein, Robert Shaw, Helmuth Rilling, and others, and he served for 10 years as the chorus master of the Baltimore Opera Company.

Tom is well known as a teacher, lecturer, and writer. He has served as president of Chorus America and as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. He has taught at the Peabody Conservatory, the University of Baltimore, Towson University, Morgan State University, and Johns Hopkins University. He has also been an artist in residence at Indiana University, the Eastman School of Music, the University of Cincinnati, Temple University, and Syracuse University.

Kent Tritle

July 27–August 3

Called “the brightest star in New York's choral music world” by the New York Times, Kent Tritle is one of America’s leading choral conductors. He is in his third season as director of cathedral music and organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City; his seventh season as music director of Musica Sacra, the longest continuously performing professional chorus in New York; and his ninth season as music director of the Oratorio Society of New York, the celebrated 200-voice volunteer chorus. An acclaimed organ virtuoso, Kent is also the organist of the New York Philharmonic and the American Symphony Orchestra.

In addition, Kent is director of choral activities at the Manhattan School of Music, where he recently established the school’s first doctoral program in choral conducting. A Juilliard School faculty member since 1996, he teaches choral conducting and directs a graduate practicum on oratorio in collaboration with the school’s Vocal Arts Department. He holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from the school, in organ performance and choral conducting.

Kent is renowned as a master clinician, giving workshops on conducting and repertoire. In 2011 he was a featured conductor at Berkshire Choral Festival, where he led a performance of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610.

He has been featured on ABC World News Tonight, National Public Radio, and Minnesota Public Radio, as well as in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He hosts The Choral Mix with Kent Tritle, a weekly hour-long radio program on New York’s Classical 105.9 WQXR.