Matthew Mehaffey, Music Director
American conductor and educator Matthew Mehaffey is crafting a national reputation in the field of choral/orchestral music through his engaging artistry, collaborative spirit, affirming pedagogical style, and entrepreneurial approach to concert programming.
As a conductor, Dr. Mehaffey serves as Music Director of two respected civic choruses, The Oratorio Society of Minnesota and The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh – the “Chorus of Choice” of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Each week he leads over 200 passionate amateur and professional singers in Pittsburgh and St. Paul in the development of concert programs that both celebrate the standard choral/orchestral repertoire and push the boundaries of a traditional choral concert. Recent notable professional engagements include work with Washington National Opera, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Czech National Symphony Orchestra, Prague Proms, Lyra Baroque Orchestra, VocalEssence, Minnesota Chorale, Singers in Accord, and Turner Network Television.
As a teacher, Dr. Mehaffey is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Minnesota, where he conducts the University Singers and Men’s Chorus, teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in conducting and music literature, and is the 2015 recipient of the Arthur “Red” Motley Exemplary Teaching Award. At the university, Mehaffey and his colleague Kathy Saltzman Romey oversee a choral program of 6 graduate students, 7 choirs, and over 300 singers. Graduate conducting students under the tutelage of Romey and Mehaffey have achieved considerable success in a variety of venues, including: the ACDA National Choral Conducting Competition (2015 winner); prestigious conducting masterclasses offered by ACDA, Chorus America, National Collegiate Choral Organization, and the Oregon Bach Festival; presentations at College Music Society and NAfME symposia; and by serving as choral leaders in academic institutions and civic ensembles around the country. He has served on the faculties of The George Washington University, Macalester College, and the summer faculties of Westminster Choir College, and University of St. Thomas.
He is the co-author of Choral Ensemble Intonation: Methods, Procedures, and Exercises and the co-editor of three volumes of Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir – all for GIA Publications. He is also co-author of the chapter “A Multiplicity of Voices: Choral Music in the United States,” for the internationally released volume, The Cambridge Companion to Choral Music.
Dr. Mehaffey possesses degrees in music from Bucknell University, Westminster Choir College, and the University of Arizona, and is eternally grateful for his formative musical mentors William Payn, Kay Payn, James Jordan, Joseph Flummerfelt, Maurice Skones, and Bruce Chamberlain. He lives in Minnesota with his wife Libby, their four children, and two dogs on a hilly plot of land that reminds him of his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He enjoys golf, baseball, and cooking in his spare time.