Music Director and Conductor Richard Stout studied at the University of Southern California and earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and a Master of Music degree in orchestral and opera conducting. His principal teachers were Charles C. Hirt, Daniel Lewis and Henry Holt. Richard also performed with Robert Shaw and Paul Salamunovich. He was active in southern California opera companies.
An interest in the music of Bach led Richard to study with Helmuth Rilling, who invited him to the Frankfurt Musikhochschule, where Richard completed his diploma in Choral Conducting. While in Germany, he performed on German radio broadcasts, and also in Helmuth Rilling's two principal ensembles, the Gächinger Kantorei and Bach Collegium Stuttgart. Richard was later Roger Wagner's assistant at Pepperdine University. As Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Lehigh University, Richard performed Mendelssohn's Elijah, using his own revision of the English translation, and co-conducted the world premiere of Robert Moran's Hagoromo.
Since coming to New York, Richard's conducting credits include the "Friends and Enemies of New Music" series, and premieres of six compositions as principal conductor of the Turnpike Camerata, a contemporary ensemble. He has guest conducted the Delaware Valley Philharmonic, the Adirondack Chamber Orchestra, the Broadway Bach Ensemble, the New York Vocal Arts Ensemble in an opera performance, and recently guest conducted the New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble .
Richard was the conductor of the Third Street Music School Settlement Chamber Orchestra, whose students were trained in, and flourished in the String Department which was guided by Christiane Pors. Under Richard's baton, the orchestra performed with acclaimed soloists, including Maxim Vengerov and Claude Frank. In 2000, the Chamber Orchestra performed, as one of four invited groups from all over the U.S. and Canada, at the conference of the Suzuki Association of the Americas in Cincinnati, Ohio. Richard conducted the Sinfonia Orchestra of the Mannes College of Music Preparatory Division. In the past several years Richard has served as a guest conductor in Ottawa, Canada at concerts for the Prime Minister, and has conducted at the Canadian National Arts Centre, with noted artists Anne Murray and Holly Cole.
audrey bishop, PRESIDENT
Audrey Bishop, President, taught in the New York City Public Schools for 32 years. She conducted the 125-voice Girls Chorus and the 104-voice Mixed Chorus at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, as well as teaching class voice, music theory and sight-singing classes at what is sometimes called the "FAME" school. She previously had taught music and mathematics at George Washington High School in Washington Heights, Manhattan, for fourteen years.
Members of the LaGuardia High School Girls Chorus have performed in Carnegie Hall. The choir received a rating of Gold With Distinction at a New York State School Music Association festival. In 2010, the Girls Chorus received the honor of being chosen to perform as a featured, auditioned chorus at the Eastern Division Conference of the American Choral Directors Association, in Philadelphia.
Ms. Bishop served as a panelist for Arts in Education Grants for the New York State Council on the Arts, and also as an adjudicator for the New York State Summer School of the Arts. In 2014, Ms. Bishop was one of 50 finalists for the New York City Department of Education Big Apple Award, out of over 4,000 nominees from a teaching force of over 75,000.
Ms. Bishop was visiting lecturer/conductor of the NYU Chorale in the New York University Steinhardt School of Music and Performing Arts in the spring of 2015. Ms. Bishop earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education at the University of Illinois, Urbana, where she studied with Harold Decker. She earned a Master of Arts in Education from the City College of New York. She continues to lead choral music workshops and clinics.