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Grammy Award winning conductor Jerry Blackstone is Director of Choirs and Chair of the Conducting Department at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance where he conducts the Chamber Choir, teaches conducting at the graduate level, and administers a choral program of eleven choirs. In February 2006, he received two Grammy Awards ("Best Choral Performance" and "Best Classical Album") as chorus master for the critically acclaimed Naxos recording of William Bolcom's monumental /Songs of Innocence and of Experience/. In 2006, the Chamber Choir performed by special invitation at the inaugural convention of the National Collegiate Choral Organization in San Antonio, and in 2003, the Chamber Choir presented three enthusiastically received performances in New York City at the National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). In addition to Professor Blackstone's choral conducting work at the University, he has led operatic productions with the University of Michigan Opera Theatre, including productions of Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen and Strauss's Die Fledermaus.
Professor Blackstone is considered one of the country's leading conducting teachers, and his students have received first place awards and been finalists in both the graduate and undergraduate divisions of the American Choral Directors Association biennial National Choral Conducting Awards competition.
He has appeared as festival guest conductor and workshop presenter in thirty states as well as New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Australia. Guest appearances for 2009-2010 include festivals and conference presentations
in New Zealand, Florida, Wisconsin, California, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Oregon, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Michigan.
In 2004, Dr. Blackstone was named Conductor and Music Director of the University Musical Society Choral Union, a large community/university chorus that frequently appears with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and
presents yearly performances of Handel's /Messiah/and other major works for chorus and orchestra. In March 2008, he conducted the UMS Choral Union and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in a special performance of the Bach, St. Matthew Passion. Choirs prepared by Dr. Blackstone have appeared under the batons of Valery Gergiev, Neeme Jrvi, Leonard Slatkin, John Adams, Helmuth Rilling, James Conlon, Nicholas McGegan,
Rafael Frhbeck de Burgos, Peter Oundjian, and Yitzak Perlman.
As conductor of the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club from 1988-2002, Professor Blackstone led the ensemble in performances at ACDA national and division conventions and on extensive concert tours throughout Australia, Eastern and Central Europe, Asia, South America, and the United States. The recently released UM Men's Glee Club CD, I have had singing, is a retrospective of his tenure as conductor of the
Santa Barbara Music Publishing distributes Dr. Blackstone's acclaimed educational video, Working with Male Voices and publishes the Jerry Blackstone Choral Series, a set of choral publications that presents works by several composers in a variety of musical styles.
As a strong advocate for the training of young musicians, Professor Blackstone serves as Director of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance's summer programs for high school students and
adults, and includes MPulse Ann Arbor, a series of music and performing arts camps for high school students from around the world held on the Ann Arbor campus. He also leads the Michigan Youth Ensembles Program,
offering advanced instrumental and choral ensemble opportunities in Ann Arbor during the academic year for talented high school students.
Prior to coming to the University of Michigan in 1988, Professor Blackstone served on the music faculties of Phillips University in Oklahoma, Westmont College in California, and Huntington College in Indiana.