Sounds of Chorus continue to ring with new director

Lauren Crist

Scott MacPherson looks to maintain quality of program

Scott MacPherson instructs the Kent Chorus during a rehearsal as the new director of choral activities. Lauren Christ | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

In an office surrounded by boxes and photos of his newborn daughter on his door, Scott MacPherson settles in at his new job. He and his wife Beate moved from San Antonio to Kent so he could fill the position as the new director of choral activities for the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music.

“I’m still in this mode of trying to get my head above water and my teaching getting ready for the new semester,” MacPherson said, “but other than that life is great, and we enjoy living in Kent.”

Following the spring retirement of Clarence M. Shearer , former director of choral activities, a national search brought MacPherson to Kent State as a contender for the position.

After interviewing with the choral search committee and auditioning in front of two of Kent State’s choral groups, MacPherson landed the job

“It’s quite competitive,” he said. “I’ve always felt fortunate to be in consideration at all, let alone to get the job, because there normally are quite a number of applicants.”

MacPherson received degrees from the University of Southern California and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He taught at Trinity University in San Antonio for 15 years before coming to Kent State. As a part of the interview process, MacPherson said he met with Shearer, who provided information on the current state of the choral program.

“It does help to have someone like that who is gracefully handing over things and being helpful,” he said.

As the newly appointed director of choral activities, MacPherson said he wants to continue current traditions and hopes to unify and blend the sound of Kent State’s choirs.

“If I get through the year having maintained the quality of the program, I will feel like it’s been a successful year,” he said.

MacPherson said the first few weeks are a transition period, but he has spent time getting to know his students and vice versa.

“I’m really impressed with his ability to come into a new situation,” Denise Seachrist, the interim director of the School of Music, said “and his willingness to work with students and faulty.”

As director of choral activities, MacPherson conducts both the Kent Chorale and the Kent Chorus.

“He makes singing fun,” said Sam Geer, sophomore theater technology major and member of the Kent Chorus.

The Kent Chorus is a non-auditioned group made up of a range of members, including students, faulty, associate deans, staff and community members.

“It’s really different from high school choir,” said Kayla McDonald, freshman theater major. “I think he handles it well.”

The choir meets on Tuesday nights and is preparing for a performance of George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah” on Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Cartwright Auditorium. Students and community members are still welcome to join the choir, MacPherson said.

“One of the beauties of an organization like this is that it creates a sense of community that is not possible in any other activity on campus,” he said. “It’s really a unique event in that you bring all walks of life together.”

Cheryl Hodnichak, a community member of the Kent Chorus for eight years, said MacPherson is doing a good job following in Shearer’s footsteps.

“I’m looking forward to actually working with him,” Hodnichak said. “I think he right away was the number one choice.”

Contact College of the Arts reporter Lauren Crist at [email protected] .