The Santa Ynez Valley Master Chorale is pleased to welcome Dr. Michael Eglin as their new music director. Dr. Eglin was chosen from a field of 16 candidates from across the U.S.(and Finland) after an extensive selection process that included input from over thirty members of the community choir.
Eglin succeeds Chris A. Bowman who directed the Chorale for 20 of its 39 years. Eglin appreciates that “the Santa Ynez Valley Master Chorale has a decades-long history of offering excellent choral music to our community, both locally and beyond. This position is both exciting and interesting in that it explores not only vocal and choral repertoire, but incorporates the instrumental canon as well as compositions from living composers. This combined with the variety of musical genres the ensemble has performed in the past, offers a wide expanse of artistic possibilities.”
Eglin looks forward to working with this community choir and believes that, “Ninety percent of what is required to be a successful choral member is a passion and hunger to learn, grow and contribute to something greater than yourself. If you’re interested in a rich musical and social experience that is fun and brings joy to your life and the lives of others, you are most welcome. To be certain, excellent music requires rigorous hard work and lots of it, but we can have a great time doing it. My personal plan for the Chorale is to provide an environment where both the individual and the collective evolve into a finely tuned group that is flexible and comfortable in a variety of styles.”
Eglin has a Bachelor’s of Music in Composition/Piano Performance and a Master’s and PhD in Composition. He teaches music at Santa Barbara City College and is the composer-in-residence for the Quire of Voyces. He was founder and artistic director for the Adelfos Men’s Ensemble and some of his compositions aired on NPR’s “Performance Today” with that ensemble. He has conducted choirs and orchestras and worked with junior high and high school students in music theatre productions. His published compositions include a Latin Choral Mass that was performed at The Vatican.
Eglin says “My proudest accomplishments are when I know that I’ve made a difference in people’s lives, no matter how small. We never know when or where our service to others will make an impact. Sometimes, it’s a student whose life took a completely different direction because of your class. Sometimes, it’s a person who found solace singing with the group during a difficult period in their life. Great concerts, travels and awards are wonderful to be sure, but it’s the small and sometimes unnoticed differences that I’m glad to be a part of. We all know them when we see them, and they are priceless.”
When asked if there was anything that would help singers connect with him as a director, Eglin responded, “Show up, work hard, play hard and have fun!”
Rehearsals with the Chorale and youth chorale under Dr. Eglin’s baton, begin in September. More information will be available closer to the start of rehearsals and at www.syvchorale.org.