Music in the Mountains hires choral conductor | TheUnion.com
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Music in the Mountains hires choral conductor

Ryan Murray of Sacramento has been named the new choral director of the Festival Chorale of Music in the Mountains.

A summa cum laude graduate of California State University, Sacramento four years ago, the 25-year-old Murray won hands-down in auditions recently conducted by Music in the Mountains.

“I knew halfway through the rehearsal that this guy has got it,” said an enthusiastic Paul Perry, who conducted the auditions prior to retiring from Music in the Mountains this July. “(Members) of the chorus jumped to their feet when he finished. ‘Hire him, hire him,’ they said. He was just electric.”



For such a young man, Murray’s accomplishments are impressive, said Perry. “He’s vibrant and very, very skilled,” he said.

Murray graduated with a degree in voice performance and bassoon and conducts opera (Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” for example) and orchestral as well as choral.




In 2004 he won the CSUS concerto competition and was assistant conductor of the CSUS Choral program. He has been the choir director of the Concerts of All Hallows series in Sacramento since 2004.

This year Murray served as the assistant conductor of the Townsend Opera Players in Modesto, and he has been invited back for the 2008-09 season as music director in addition to his choral duties at Music in the Mountains.

Perry said he was in the midst of auditioning choral directors when, quite by accident, he met Murray through a colleague.

“Everyone I had (been auditioning) was competent, but not what I’d been looking for,” said Perry. “It was make due and I was even saying to myself ‘Maybe I can’t retire’ when I planned to. Then I heard Murray and my ears perked up.”

The public will get to see the new choral director when the Festival Chorale gives its holiday concerts in mid-December.

Auditions for new chorus members take place Aug. 26 and 27. Call the office at 265-6173 for an appointment. Rehearsals, which start Sept. 3, are Wednesday evenings, 7-9 p.m., at Peace Lutheran Church in Grass Valley.


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