choral conductor ~ voice teacher ~ singer ~ lecturer
My Jewish heritage on my father’s side cultivated intellectual and cultural curiosity and and my Swedish background on my mother’s side has found outlet in my love of nature. Both led to a commitment to progressive politics and social justice.
I completed my undergraduate and master's degree at University of California, Santa Cruz where I studied voice with Patrice Maginnis and conducting with Nicole Paiement. Dr. Paiement inspired a love of passionate, informed, and collaborative music making that has continued to guide my work since. I wrote my master's thesis on Swedish Music for Women's Choir.
Following my studies at UCSC I was fortunate to participate in an intensive conducting workshop in Sweden with Eric Ericson, among the world’s premier choral conductors. Following my work with Ericson, I enrolled in the Doctor of Musical Arts program in Choral Conducting and Pedagogy at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, where I became further immersed in the choral craft. While at the University of Iowa, I studied choral conducting with William Hatcher and Timothy Stalter, choral literature with Richard Bloesch, orchestral conducting with William Jones, and voice with Susan Jones. I completed my dissertation, Feminist Musical Aesthetic in the Choral Music of Karin Rehnqvist, in December of 2002.
I returned to UCSC as conducting and theory faculty from the fall of 2000 through the spring of 2002. During this time, I directed the choir at Saint Ignatius Church of San Francisco, a semi-professional ensemble of one of San Francisco’s most famous churches.
I began teaching in the Performing Arts and Social Justice Department at the University of San Francisco in 2001, where I established the first classical choral ensemble in many years at USF. In addition to my work with choirs work at USF, I teach private voice and several academic courses, including Orchestra, Conducting, Advanced Musicianship, Theory I (for music majors), Fundamentals of Music Theory, and Music Appreciation. I was awarded the Distinguished Adjunct Teacher Award in 2012. The USF Classical Choral Ensembles are committed to social justice work, and their programs have included a collaboration with the members of a music course in a high-security prison and a performance focused on aging and Alzheimer's with collaboration with community organizations focused on those issues.
I accepted the position of Conductor and Artistic Director of Sacred and Profane Chamber Chorus in 2004. Formed in 1973, Sacred and Profane is an advanced amateur choir of singers who enthusiastic about singing a wide range of high-quality choral repertoire. We have sung several premieres and have championed the music of Karin Rehnqvist, among others.
In my goal to continue to grow in my craft and inspire my ensembles and students to achieve greater depth of expression, skill, and purpose, I have begun studies in Estill Voice Training and will complete the Masters of Nonprofit Administration program at USF in 2021.
My personal interests include gardening and urban farming, hiking, camping, and travel; arts and culture, especially film, theater, and live musical performance of all kinds; meditation; and time with my partner Pete, our dogs Laila (pictured) and Curry, and cats Jeoffry and Pangur.
©2020 Rebecca Petra Naomi Seeman