Dr. Paul Torkelson is Associate Professor of Music and currently Director of Choral Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he directs the Symphonic Choir, the Nevada Chamber Singers, The Twelve and teaches choral conducting. During the 2012-13 academic year his choirs performed Ein deutsches Requiem by Johannes Brahms. A December 2013 performance of Handel’s Messiah included members of Symphonic Choir, Chamber Singers, Concert Choir and the University Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Torkelson. In the spring of 2015, his choirs joined the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus in a performance of the Mahler 2nd Symphony, “The Resurrection. The Chamber Singers performed the Te Deum by Antonin Dvorak with the Reno Chamber Orchestra and will perform the Mozart Requiem with the Reno Chamber Orchestra in the spring of 2016.
Dr. Torkelson is a frequent guest conductor at state ACDA conventions and has conducted several All-State Choirs throughout the United States. During the 2013-2014 academic year he conducted the Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin All-State Choirs. Since 1998, he conducted the Iowa Ambassadors of Music three week European tour. In the summer of 2014, he led the Nevada Ambassadors of Music on their European tour performing in England, France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Germany and will return in the summer of 2016.
He will also conduct the Vivaldi Magnificat in Florence, Italy in June of 2016.
He earned his BME from Wartburg College and holds a MM from Kansas State University and a DMA in Choral Conducting and Literature from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Prior to coming to the University of Nevada, Reno, he was director of Choral Studies at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa for twenty-five years. He retired from his position as Zahn Chair of Choral Music at Wartburg College in 2008, and was promoted to Zahn Professor Emeritus. For three years he was Principal Conductor in Residence for MidAmerica Productions in New York City. He recently conducted a performance of The Sunrise Mass by Ola Gjeilo at Carnegie Hall on the MidAmerica Concert Series. This performance marked his fourth concert with this esteemed organization at Carnegie Hall. He was recently tenured at the University of Nevada, Reno, and promoted to associate professor.
Under the direction of Dr. Torkelson, The Wartburg Choir performed at the ACDA National Convention in 1987 and North Central regional conventions in 1988, 1992 and 1998 and toured Europe on eight occasions. The Choir and Dr. Torkelson also presented solo concerts at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center. Of their 2004 performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D. C. , the Washington Post asserted that the Wartburg Choir “…has impeccable intonation and excellent diction, and was trained with rock-solid discipline.”
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