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IU Jacobs School of Music appoints Walter Huff to full-time choral faculty

June 19, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music is pleased to announce that renowned opera chorus master Walter Huff will join its faculty as associate professor of music this fall, pending approval of the Trustees of Indiana University.

The appointment follows a year in which Huff taught at the Jacobs School as an adjunct faculty member and directed IU Opera Theater choruses.

Huff has served as chorus master for The Atlanta Opera in more than 90 productions, receiving critical acclaim in the United States and abroad. Along with his new responsibilities at the Jacobs School of Music, he will maintain the role of principal chorus master with the opera company.

"Walter Huff's extensive experience as one of the top opera chorus masters in the United States greatly enhances our ability to offer a comprehensive training program for opera chorus masters," said Dean Gwyn Richards. "With the recent addition of Betsy Burleigh, Dominick DiOrio and Steve Zegree to our faculty, as well as the inspired leadership of William Jon Gray, the Jacobs School offers an unmatched training program for choral conductors."

"Walter is an exceptional musician with enormous experience as an opera chorus master," said Burleigh, chair of the Jacobs School's choral conducting department. "His addition to our faculty enables us to offer a unique area of specialized choral study in the country. We are thrilled to have him as part of our team."

"Walter is an outstanding chorus master and opera coach, who has already become a valued mentor and colleague at the Jacobs School of Music, and I am thrilled he has agreed to become a full-time member of our faculty," said Kevin Murphy, director of coaching and music administration for IU Opera Theater. "Walter is a gentleman and an inspiring teacher, and I look forward to collaborating with him as IU Opera continues to grow, innovate and train the next generation of opera singers and musicians."

"I look forward to establishing a full-time relationship with the Jacobs School students and staff," said Huff. "As an adjunct faculty member last year, I so enjoyed working with the choristers in opera productions ranging from Handel to Philip Glass. I believe that mentoring student assistant chorus masters offers an important path toward the understanding of this choral art form. I am honored to join the rest of the IU choral faculty at this particular time as we join together in presenting a fresh twenty-first-century approach to choral education in all its dimensions."

From Gluck's "Orfeo ed Euridice" to a staged version of "Carmina Burana" and appearances at the Olympic Cultural Olympiad (1996), Huff's work with The Atlanta Opera Chorus has continually received national attention. In 2008, the chorus sang over 20 performances of "Porgy and Bess" at the Opéra Comique in Paris and on tour in Spain, Normandy and Luxembourg.

Huff received his music degrees from the Oberlin and Peabody conservatories.

He has worked as a vocal coach for The Atlanta Opera, Washington Opera, Peabody Opera Theatre and in his own studio in Atlanta. He was acting chorus master for San Diego Opera in 2011.

Huff served on the faculty at Georgia State University for four years as assistant professor, guest lecturer and conductor of the Georgia State University Choral Society.

For the past four years, he has been music director for The Atlanta Opera High School Opera Institute, a unique nine-month training program for talented, classically trained high school singers.

Last year, as adjunct associate professor at the Jacobs School of Music, he led the IU Opera choruses, to critical and audience acclaim, in performances of "Don Giovanni," "The Merry Widow" and "Akhnaten."