Assumption’s New Director of Choral Activities has an Ambitious Plan to Bring Music to the Worcester Community
Ushering in a new era for Assumption’s music programs, the University recently welcomed a new director of choral activities and seasoned performer Brad Dumont, who brings a renewed vision not only to the Assumption’s music programs, but a commitment to arts-based education and community outreach. Dumont was appointed to the position following the retirement of Michelle Graveline, now professor emeritus, who served for 35 years as professor of music and director of Assumption Chorale and VOCE, the institution’s select choir.
Dumont, a Rochester, NH, native, has expressed a commitment to maintaining the high standard of excellence established under the direction of Graveline, while sharing his passion for community-based arts education. Throughout his noted career, Dumont has created and supported unique artistic projects that contribute to cultural and community improvement and plans to continue this approach as director of choral activities at Assumption. According to Dumont, choral singing builds empathetic communities and provides a voice for those who might not otherwise be heard.
“I am looking forward to creative projects that allow students the opportunity to be completely engaged in music as a form for community development,” said Dumont. “Choruses have a unique ability to bring people from all walks of life into a room where they can be focused on one goal: song.”
Dumont is working with organizations throughout the Worcester region, like the Salisbury Singers and in December brought the Assumption choirs to the Worcester Art Museum to present a concert. “My plan for the Assumption choirs is to develop collaborations with community partners throughout the Worcester region that allow us to share and create music together,” he said.
Dumont has already created meaningful music at Assumption; in November, the Chorale and VOCE Chamber Ensemble presented a “Sing About It: Voices of Women” concert, during which students performed music written by female composers ranging from the 10th century German mystic St. Hildegard von Bingen to the 1970s American singer-songwriter Carly Simon. The concert carried a theme of female empowerment and included local musicians as accompanists for several pieces. In the spring, the choirs will be participating with the Worcester-based Salisbury Singers in a major performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” at Mechanics Hall.
Dumont’s commitment to sharing music with the community is evidenced in his duties outside of Assumption. He serves as the associate conductor of the Salisbury Singers; vice president of the New Hampshire Master Chorale; and is on the artistic planning team for the Boston-based choir VOICES 21C where he supports creative staging and narrative repertoire planning for the ensemble. He also sings in each of these groups. Along with conducting and singing, Dumont is an arts instructor at the Suffolk County Men’s Prison; the operations and special projects manager for Emmanuel Music in Boston; an orchestra contractor for ensembles throughout New England; and a board member for the Greater Boston Choral Consortium. For eight seasons he was the artistic administrator for the New Hampshire Music Festival in Plymouth, NH.
In 2019, Dumont was the assistant conductor to Jan Schumacher at the Choralies Festival in France, preparing Brahms’ Requiem with more than 200 singers from across Europe. He has participated in choral tours in France, Armenia, Georgia, Italy, Israel, and Palestine as well as across the United States. In 2020, he will be working with VOICES 21C in Rochester, NY, on a series of community outreach engagements as part of the Eastern Division American Choral Director’s Association Conference where he will also be presenting and leading a workshop on choral music in non-traditional settings.
While receiving his Master of Music in choral conducting at Boston University, Dumont taught with Dr. André de Quadros at the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center in a course utilizing music as a practice for improving health in students across the city working on their mental well-being. Prior, he earned a B.S. in music education K-12 and a B.A. in music: vocal performance and pedagogy from Plymouth State University in 2013.
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