New Mexico Philharmonic Collaborative Choir:
Chorus Master Maxine Thévenot
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 is a life-affirming masterpiece. The joyful message of the Ninth, an anthem for humanity, has inspired millions of listeners and performers around the world. That fact, coupled with the sheer joy of singing, is why 120 voices have assembled before you.
Singing in a group enhances feelings of trust and bonding: brotherhood. These people represent many different walks of life, from young professional musicians to astronomers, physicists, nutritionists, teachers, chefs, students of life. Members of Polyphony: Voices of New Mexico form the professional core joining members of The Choir & Chorale of the Cathedral of St. John; members of the women’s choir, Las Cantantes and the University Chorus from the University of New Mexico; members of the New Mexico Gay Men’s Chorus; the Sangre de Cristo Chorale, Santa Fe, the Albuquerque Civic Chorus, New Mexico Symphonic Chorus and members of our community to sing this acknowledged masterpiece of the symphonic repertoire.
Chorus Master Maxine Thévenot serves as Director of Cathedral Music & Organist at the Cathedral of St. John, Albuquerque; Artistic Director of Polyphony: Voices of New Mexico-New Mexico’s first resident professional vocal ensemble; and Director of UNM’s Women’s Choir-Las Cantantes. She also performs with her husband, Edmund Connolly as a duo, Air & Hammers. This past summer she was honored to lead two of her choirs on tour-Las Cantantes to New York City and The Cathedral Choir to the UK as the invited choir in residence at both Winchester Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. Her first published composition (Paraclete Press) received its UK premiere at Westminster Abbey.
Together as both concert organist and choir director, she has recorded 13 CDs for RavenCD and has broadcast for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, National Public Radio and Pipedreams. Acclaimed for her ‘solid musicianship…technical security and poise…ravishing playing…a graceful and beautiful conductor to watch’, her performing career has included solo performances in many of the major European and North American churches and concert halls. She has had the pleasure of serving as Chorus Master for the NMPhil’s recent large-scale chorus and orchestra performances-Ein Deutsches Requiem, (2012) Holiday Pops, (2012, 2013) St. John’s Passion (2013) and looks forward to more such community collaborations.
A native of Saskatchewan, Canada, Dr. Thévenot received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Saskatchewan (summa cum laude), and her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from Manhattan School of Music. At Manhattan School she was twice-awarded the Bronson Ragan Award for “Most Outstanding Organist.” Maxine is an Associate of the Royal Canadian College of Organists and the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, and was made an Honorary Fellow of the National College of Music, London, UK in 2006 for her “services to music.”
In her spare time she enjoys gardening, cooking, fine wine, and a good book.