This season marks Richard Hynson’s 26th year as Music Director of the Bel Canto Chorus and Orchestra. In addition, Hynson has served as Music Director of the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra since 2006. In demand as a guest conductor, Hynson’s past engagements include performances with the Milwaukee Symphony, the Skylight Music Theatre, and the Racine, Sheboygan, and Waukesha Symphony Orchestras. Hynson has conducted at Carnegie Hall in New York City, where he led a large national festival chorus
and orchestra in Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Dona Nobis Pacem. He has guest-conducted the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra in one of the Concerts on the Square in Madison. He has also served as the Music Director for Gathering on the Green, the popular outdoor music festival in Mequon, WI. In 2012, Hynson was awarded the American Prize – community choral division. This national prize provides evaluation, recognition, and reward to America’s finest performing artists, ensembles, and composers. In making the award, the American Prize committee wrote: “During his 24 years as Music Director, Dr. Richard Hynson has transformed Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee from a venerable community chorus to a vibrant, successful arts organization respected for its artistic
excellence, innovative programming, and impactful outreach…”
Hynson and members of Bel Canto Chorus have performed internationally at the acclaimed Spoleto Music Festival in Italy, the Festivals of Troyes and Rheims in France, the Llangollen Festival in Wales, and the Elora and Huntsville Festivals in Canada. In addition to its annual concert season, the chorus is often called upon to participate in performances by national touring companies. In 2010, Bel Canto participated in Star Wars in Concert and in the Video Games Live national touring concert, and in February 2013, Bel Canto sang in the Distant Worlds touring concert. The chorus completed a successful international tour in July 2011, performing with several orchestras in Argentina and Uruguay, and in June 2013, Hynson conducted Bel Canto and two French choruses in three performances of Brahms’s Requiem with L’Ensemble Orchestral de Bordeaux in France.
In addition to his work as a conductor and educator, Hynson is a composer. He has written a substantial body of published choral, vocal, and ensemble works, many of which he has recorded with Bel Canto Chorus singers. The U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants have frequently performed Hynson’s In the Midst of Life, composed in response to the events of September 11. Most notably, they presented it in New York City’s Avery Fisher Hall for the national conference of the American Choral Directors Association.
Under Hynson’s direction, Bel Canto opened its 81st season on Sunday, September 11, 2011, with United We Stand in Cathedral Square Park. This free concert marked the tenth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks, and featured Mozart’s Requiem and Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” in collaboration with the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra. “The chorus sang with force and assurance, easily separating the complex vocal lines...and following Hynson’s judicious phrasing in when to hold back and when to let go.” (David Lewellen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) January marked the fourth annual commemorative concert celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr., presented by the Bel Canto Chorus and Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra.
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