Sparks, Richard

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Instruments Played
Baritone/Bass, Conductor

Current Performance Ensembles
UNT Collegium Singers

Personal Summary / Bio

I've been involved with early music since the mid-70's, when I started a group in Seattle--Seattle Pro Musica--which included a chamber choir and an ensemble that performed Bach cantatas once a month. At the time we worked occasionally with Stanley Ritchie, Sand Dalton, David Dutton and others. We also did performances of Monteverdi 1610 Vespers in 1976 and 1978 (1978 as part of the AGO Conference in Seattle--Stephen Stubbs played his first Vespers with me, with his first Chittarone!). In 1977 I began conducting for the Pacific Northwest Bach Festival in Spokane, held every January. The orchestra was led by a variety of players, including Stanley Ritchie, Dan Steppner, and Elizabeth Blumenstock; Dutch baritone Max van Egmont was soloist for 6 of the 7 years I conducted.

 

I also taught at the SFEMS baroque workshop in San Rafael during this period and into the mid-80s about 5 times.

When I left Seattle, I was less involved with early music, the same when I returned to the NW to be Director of Choral Activities at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA. However, I've always remained interested. In 2001 I conducted the Monteverdi Vespers again in Edmonton, Alberta with my professional choir there, Pro Coro Canada: Ray Nurse helped organize the instrumentalists, who included the Whole Noyse Consort and tenor soloist Paul Elliott. In 2008 I was Musical Director/Conductor for a wonderful production of Monteverdi's Orfeo in Edmonton, with a great cast (Colin Balzer, Suzie LeBlanc), baroque band (Whole Noyse, David Douglass, Sylvain Bergeron), and directed by Ellen Hargis.

 

In 2009 my life changed again as I took a position at the University of North Texas, partially in the choral department, but also conducting the Collegium Singers, which Lyle Nordstrom founded. This has meant a return to much more concentration in early music--great fun!

 

Categories

Professional Performer or Semi-Pro Performer, Music School

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Contact Information

Location(s)

1417 Angelina Bend Dr.
Denton, TX, 76205
United States
See map: Google Maps
Phone: 
940-536-3930