State College Choral Society Artistic Director since 1999, Russ Shelley is committed to creating musically inspiring programs that enrich the experience of both the singers and listeners, while keeping with the mission of the Choral Society to present significant choral masterworks of the highest quality for the State College Area community. The Choral Society’s masterworks repertoire under Shelley’s direction includes Mendelssohn’s St. Paul, Haydn’s Creation, Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2 “Lobgesang,” Bach’s Magnificat and St. John Passion, Fauré’s Requiem, Ramírez’s Misa Criolla and Navidad Nuestra, Brahms’ Requiem, the Pennsylvania Premiere of Thomas Beveridge’s Yizkor Requiem, Tippett’s A Child of Our Time, Mozart’s Requiem and Duruflé’s Requiem. During Shelley’s tenure as Artistic Director, the Choral Society commissioned its first composition, Voices of the Holocaust, in 2003, and performed its world premiere in November 2004. The piece has since been performed three times in Brazil and seven times in the USA. This season Dr. Shelley is marking his 22nd year as the group’s Artistic Director.
John Bukowski is thrilled to be in his first year as accompanist of the State College Choral Society. He has previously performed with the Choral Society on works such as Brahms’ Liebeslieder, Elgar’s From the Bavarian Highlands, and Vaughan Williams’ In Windsor Forest, as well as in several Christmas concerts. Bukowski studied piano with Hanna Wu Li at Carnegie Mellon University for many years and was a winner of the Young Artists Auditions of the Pittsburgh Concert Society. He has performed solo recitals in Boothbay Harbor (Maine), Salvador (Brazil), and Huntingdon (PA). Bukowski is the long-time accompanist of the Juniata College Concert Choir and Choral Union. He conducted the Concert Choir during the Fall 2018 semester and on a subsequent tour of Germany, Switzerland, and France. In recent years, he has participated in summer conducting workshops at Westminster Choir College. Bukowski is organist and music coordinator at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Huntingdon, where he also conducts the Trinity Choir. He is Professor of Mathematics and former Mathematics Department Chair at Juniata College.