MIT Concert Choir

About the MIT Concert Choir

The MIT Concert Choir

MIT Concert Choir is a choral group, open by audition to both graduate and undergraduate students, and to members of the MIT community. The Concert Choir works to create an environment where student singers can learn, perform, and contribute to the MIT musical community. By bringing together singers in a social, academic, and performance atmosphere, we hope to expose the MIT community to a wide range of choral music literature and history. Concert Choir can also be taken for credit as 21M.401.

As MIT's large student chorus, the Concert Choir performs major works from the standard repertoire each semester, as well as a variety of shorter and lesser-known pieces. The Choir has a rich history originating with the all-male Glee Club in 1884 and continuing with the MIT Choral Society from 1923 until the formation of the Concert Choir under John Oliver in 1989. William Cutter, who came to MIT in 1990 as John Oliver's assistant and rehearsal pianist, assumed the direction of MIT's choral program upon Mr. Oliver's departure in 1996.

In recent years, the Concert Choir has toured in Budapest, Vienna, and Lausanne, and performed in numerous collaborations with the smaller MIT Chamber Chorus, the MIT Symphony Orchestra, the MIT Wind Ensemble, the choirs of Brown, Tufts and Brandeis Universities, and the orchestras of Tufts University and Wellesley College. In 2002, the MIT Concert Choir was invited to perform with the Boston Pops under Keith Lockhart for MIT's Tech Night at the Pops. Often featuring the finest guest soloists along with student soloists, the student singers of the group regularly expose the MIT community to a wide range of choral music literature.

Our course page on the Music Department's website is here. We are listed in the MIT course catalog here.

We are also an ASA group. The Concert Choir Students Association constitution is here.

The MIT Chamber Choir

The Concert Choir is not the only choir at MIT; we also share several members with the Chamber Choir.

Conductor Dr. William C. Cutter

Bill Cutter

Dr. William Cutter is Lecturer in Music and Director of Choral Programs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is conductor of the MIT Concert Choir and Chamber Chorus. A member of the conducting faculty at the Boston Conservatory since 1999, he conducts the Boston Conservatory Chorale and Women's Chorus and teaches graduate conducting. He has also held academic posts at Boston University's School for the Arts, the University of Lowell, and the Walnut Hill School for the Arts, and served for five seasons as music director and conductor of the Brookline Chorus, an auditioned eighty-voice community chorus. Dr. Cutter currently serves as artistic director for the Boston Conservatory Summer Choral Insitute for high school vocalists and was recently appointed Chorus Master and Associate Conductor of the Boston Lyric Opera Company. For four summers he was conductor of the Boston University Young Artists Chorus of the Tanglewood Institute, and was music director and conductor of the Opera Laboratory Theater Company, as well as founder and music director of the vocal chamber ensemble CANTO, which specialized in contemporary choral music.

As assistant to John Oliver for the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, he has prepared choruses for John Williams and Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops. In May 1999, he prepared the chorus for two television tapings and the CD "A Splash of Pops" which featured the premiere of With Voices Raised by Stephen Flaherty, composer of the Broadway musical Ragtime. In August 2002, Dr. Cutter prepared the Chorus for its performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony under Sir Roger Norrington. He has also served on the faculty of the North Carolina Summer Institute of Choral Art and is in demand as a guest conductor and adjudicator throughout the United States and Canada.

With degrees in composition, Dr. Cutter maintains an active career as a composer with recent performances by the Monmouth Civic Chorus, the New Jersey Gay Men's Chorus, the Boston Pops, the New World Chorale in Boston, Melodious Accord of New York City, and Opera Omaha. His music is published by E.C. Schirmer, Boston; Lawson and Gould, New York; Alfred Educational Publishers, Los Angeles; Roger Dean Publishers, Wisconsin; Shawnee Press, Pennsylvania; and Warner/Chappell of Ontario, Canada.

As a professional tenor, he has sung with the premiere vocal ensembles in Boston, including the Handel and Haydn Society, Cantata Singers, Boston Baroque, Emmanuel Music, and the Harvard Glee Club. He has been a featured soloist on the Cantata Singers' Recital Series and has been a recitalist on the MIT faculty performance series singing the music of Britten, Schubert, and Ives. He has taught voice at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School.

Pianist Joseph Turbessi

Joe Turbessi

Accompanist Joseph Turbessi originally comes from Western Michigan; he has received degrees in piano performance from Hope College and the Boston Conservatory. In addition to accompanying the MIT Concert Choir, he is active in the Boston area as a pianist, organist, and chamber musician; and also serves as a staff accompanist at the Boston Conservatory and the Boston Arts Academy. He is a founding member and frequent performer on the St. John’s First Thursday concert series in Jamaica Plain. Turbessi is a strong advocate for new music; he has participated in the Oregon Bach Festival Composers’ Symposium in July 2008, has helped to premier a number of works with the Boston-based ensemble Juventas, and has performed for composer William Bolcom.

Turbessi is also an accomplished organist and studied with Dr. Huw Lewis of Hope College. He currently serves as organist to First Congregational Church of Somerville and is a member of the American Guild of Organists. Turbessi lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.

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