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Arts and Entertainment

November 8, 2013

Catskill Choral Society to perform under new director

Tickets are on sale now for the Catskill Choral Society’s December program, which will feature J.S. Bach’s “Magnificat,” as well as other seasonal selections. The December concerts will be led by Dr. R. Colin Armstrong, who joins CCS as its music director for the 2013-14 season. 

According to a media release, “Armstrong’s passion for music inspires him to instilling that passion in those he teaches and directs. He’s also a lover of language, eager to challenge his students and choristers with sacred and secular music in European, Asian and African dialects from contemporary and early eras.”

Of the 60-member choral group, which is in its 44th year of performing in the Oneonta area, Armstrong said working with chorus members has been “a great deal of fun.” 

“They are great people and very responsive,” he said in the release. “We laugh a lot and make some really good music.” The group offers him the opportunity to “work with a variety of ages and perform larger works” written for choral groups.

Armstrong brings with him a lifetime of musical training, beginning as a trumpet player in elementary in his native Vancouver, Canada. He continued his musical education in college, earning a Bachelor of Music in trumpet performance and a Bachelor of Education at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada.  In addition to leading the Catskill Choral Society, Armstrong also recently began his tenure as Hartwick College choir director. 

Following college, Armstrong shared his musical talents as a band, choir and musical theater teacher for middle and high school programs in Alberta. Later, Armstrong attended Canada’s preeminent graduate choral conducting program, studying with Leonard Ratzlaf and earning his master’s degree in music. He moved to the United States to pursue his doctoral degree in choral music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2009, Armstrong joined the music faculty of Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa.

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