The search for a music director for the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus ended with the announcement Adam Luebke has entered a multiyear commitment to the chorus.
"Our search committee interviewed Adam the day after he arrived in Western New York, and he immediately impressed us with his passion, his experience, and his knowledge of choral music, as well as his engaging demeanor. His audition with our membership reinforced those strong first impressions," said BPC Vice President Brad Felton, who led the exacting search.
Holly Grant, president of the BPC, said, "Not only is Adam an incredibly talented musician and conductor, but his obvious passion for the music inspires the singers working with him, as well as the audience."
Luebke holds a doctorate in choral conducting from Florida State University, a master of music in conducting from Westminster Choir College and a bachelor of music from St. Olaf College. He currently serves as an associate professor and director of choral activities at the Greatbatch School of Music at Houghton College. Luebke, a singer himself, has been a member of the Westminster Choir, the Westminster Symphonic Choir, the St. Olaf Choir, and the American Boychoir, and also has performed with the New York Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony, the Boston Symphony, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Chanticleer, VocalEssence, Kathleen Battle, Frederica von Stade, Wynton Marsalis, Benjamin Luxon, Jerry Hadley, Christine Goerke, Suzanne Mentzer, Paul Groves, Kristen Chenoweth and Amy Grant.
The search process began with a review of more than 30 applications, with a special emphasis on seeking out local talent. Four semifinalists were brought before the chorus for review.
"I am honored to join the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus as music director. In my interactions with the ensemble, I felt strongly the singers' commitment to the choral art, and I'm excited to work with them in presenting the power of choral performance," Luebke said.
His experience, education and ability will allow the BPC to continue the artistic excellence and stability members have been pursuing, the group said. Luebke has not only led choirs in tours across the country, but he is a staunch advocator for community choruses and has organized community performances and led community ensembles in Iowa, Wisconsin, Florida, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. He is a scholar of Renaissance choral music and has published and lectured on Renaissance performance practice.
Luebke will begin his tenure with the BPC in January.
"I look forward to contributing to the artistic landscape of the city and region. The Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus is an historic organization which has always been a vibrant presence in the community," Luebke said.
The Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the Western New York region through the performance of high-quality, diverse musical programs, and the development of singers in the choral art. With a roster of approximately 120 singers, the BPC is frequently heard as the principal guest chorus of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
Founded in 1937 as the Buffalo Schola Cantorum, the group became known as the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus in 1992 to reflect its close association with the BPO. It offers a self-sponsored concert series as well as various guest appearances throughout the greater Western New York region. On average, the BPC participates in 15 concerts each year - many of which have multiple performances.