The Albuquerque Academy Upper School Chorus is amongst the finest ensembles of its kind in the State of New Mexico. The Chorus, which is an elective class for grades 8-12, studies and performs a wide range of music to a high standard: its repertoire ranges from music of the Renaissance to works by living composers. Students are coached in vocal and choral techniques and learn about the context of the works they perform, whilst developing the discipline necessary for excellent choral singing. Each year, the Chorus sends a number of students to both the Youth and High School All State Festivals.
From 1992-2012 the Chorus was directed by Ms. Marilyn Thomas Bernard. During Ms. Bernard’s tenure, in addition to its frequent performances on campus, the Upper School Chorus’ performances included Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Albuquerque Youth Symphony, Pops concerts with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, and two appearances at New York’s world-renowned Carnegie Hall, where they performed John Rutter’s Gloria under the direction of the composer and, in 2012, John Rutter’s Requiem. Since the beginning of the 2013-14 school year, the Chorus has been directed by Mr. Edmund Connolly, ably assisted by accompanist Ms. Debbie Briggs. The Albuquerque Academy Upper School Chorus is proud to collaborate with the New Mexico Philharmonic. www.aa.edu
Born in London, England, Edmund Connolly studied at Robinson College, Cambridge, and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. A year after graduating with his Master of Music degree, Edmund was appointed a Professor of Music Studies at the GSMD, a position he held from 2004-2011. He currently holds the posts of Upper School Chorus Director at the Albuquerque Academy and Assistant Organist-Choir Director at the Cathedral of St. John, Albuquerque; is Accompanist for the Santa Fe-based Sangre de Cristo Chorale and is one half of the duo Air & Hammers with pianist/organist Maxine Thévenot.
Over recent years Edmund Connolly has forged a career as an opera and concert singer, organist, piano accompanist and conductor, as well as developing a reputation as a private voice teacher. Connolly has sung major operatic roles in the UK and Europe, and has sung most major oratorio repertoire as a soloist in the UK, including collaborations with Sir David Willcocks, David Hill, Bob Chilcott and Stephen Cleobury. In the U.S., he has appeared as baritone soloist for Polyphony: Voices of New Mexico’s performances of Henry Mollicone’s Mass for the Homeless, Handel’s Messiah, Donald McCullough’s Holocaust Cantata and Bach’s St. John Passion with the New Mexico Philharmonic, all under Maxine Thévenot. He also sang the baritone solos in Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem with the New Mexico Philharmonic under Dante Anzolini at Popejoy Hall and the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
Edmund Connolly has sung frequently with professional choirs including the BBC Singers, English Voices, the Choir of London and the Gabrieli Consort, and as a choral conductor he has worked for many years with professional, amateur and youth choirs in the UK and the U.S. Highlights have included chorus-mastering Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Guildhall Symphony Chorus and conducting the world premiere of Requiem for Claire by James Drew-Edwards with the Antiphon Chamber Choir and Orchestra (of which he was the founding director), both at London’s renowned St. John’s, Smith Square. www.edmundconnolly.com