Dr. Austin Thorpe is the newly appointed Director of Choirs at Maple Mountain High School in Spanish Fork, UT. He is the former Choral Artist-in-Residence at Shenandoah University where he led the Conservatory Choir and taught conducting. For the 2021/22 school year, Dr. Thorpe was the Visiting Director of Choirs at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City where he conducted the Chamber and A Cappella Choir. From 2011-2017, Dr. Thorpe taught choral music in Utah at Herriman High School. He received his PhD in Choral Conducting and Music Education from Florida State University and his Master of Music in Choral Conducting and Bachelor of Music Education degrees from the University of Utah. At Shenandoah University, Dr. Thorpe gave the U.S. premiere of Jamie Powe’s Gun Mass, with text by Haley Hodges, as well as a performance of all Native American composers in Venice, Italy at the Biennale contemporary music festival. During his residency at the University of Utah, he commissioned Black Music Matters advocate Adrian Dunn to write a new, five-movement choral suite called The 42 Project about the legacy of Civil Rights icon, Jackie Robinson. Dr. Thorpe seeks to bring the music of historically excluded composers to the forefront through the consistent programming of their work and commissions. He believes in the facilitation of the choral art form/choral music education as a means to experience interpersonal connectedness through the creation of beauty. He believes music has the ability to become a surpassing moral force.

 

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