The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (MCP) is delighted to announce that Matthew Mehaffey will be its new Music Director. “The Mendelssohn Choir‘s national reputation attracted a significant number of outstanding candidates, making the Search Committee’s job challenging and exciting,” says Robert Moir, a member of the Committee. “In the end, with overwhelming support from the choir members, the Committee and Board of Directors unanimously agreed that Pittsburgh native Matthew Mehaffey was the best candidate to lead the Mendelssohn Choir into its next era.”
“I am honored by the invitation to join in the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh’s long tradition of excellence,” says Mehaffey. “As I got to know the organization during the interview process, I was excited by the possibilities of leading this nationally celebrated choir as it readies itself to build new branches on top of its deep roots. To follow in the footsteps of former Music Directors Betsy Burleigh and Robert Page is a humbling task, but also a great gift. These choral giants molded the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh into one of the finest Symphonic Choruses in the country, and at the same time created a community of passionate singers and supporters that have the organization poised to continue doing meaningful work and creating great music. I look forward to fostering the choir’s long-standing artistic partnership with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and to working with the skilled and dedicated singers of the choir, Executive Director Mary Ann Lapinski, and the Board of Directors to create innovative musical programs that attract new audiences to the life-affirming art of choral music by celebrating ad enriching the cultural fabric of my beloved hometown, Pittsburgh.”
“We are very much looking forward to a new chapter in the long history of the Mendelssohn Choir, and its consistent ability to bring the highest quality choral music to the Pittsburgh (and national) stage,” says Board President Vance. W. Torbert, III. “Matthew will be, we are confident, an exciting presence for all of us.”
Mehaffey will share his time between Pittsburgh and Minnesota where he is tenured Associate Professor of Music at the University of Minnesota. He possesses degrees from Bucknell University, Westminster Choir College, and a DMA from the University of Arizona. A published author on choral music and technique, Mehaffey is also a much in demand conductor including internationally.
Although Mehaffey’s appointment with the MCP does not begin until July 1, he is already hard at work planning the MCP’s 2016-2017 musical season, and will be in the audience for the MCP’s performance with composer/conductor Steven Hackman at the “Defying Gravity” concert on June 6 at the Three Rivers Arts Festival.