Noted for her “directorial command” and “technical expertise,” conductor Beth Willer will join the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University as associate professor and director of choral studies in the fall 2020 semester. She succeeds Edward Polochick, who retires this spring after more than 40 years on the Peabody faculty.
Willer is recognized as a bold, 21st-century artist committed to expanding and deepening the repertoire for vocal ensembles through creative collaboration and culturally relevant programming. As founder and artistic director of Boston’s Lorelei Ensemble, Willer has championed new music while fulfilling Lorelei Ensemble’s mission to elevate and expand the repertoire for women’s voices, collaborating with established and emerging composers from the U.S. and abroad and leading the ensemble in more than 60 world, U.S., and regional premieres since its founding. Lorelei Ensemble maintains a robust national touring schedule, including recent collaboration with Grammy-nominated ensembles A Far Cry and Cantus. As guest conductor Willer has led premiere ensembles from across the country, including performances with Seraphic Fire, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, New York Baroque Incorporated, and Roomful of Teeth. Prior to joining the Peabody faculty, Willer served as director of choral activities at Bucknell University, where she led the University Choir and Camerata and taught courses in conducting, chamber music, arts entrepreneurship, and choral music education. Previous academic appointments include positions at Harvard University and The Boston Conservatory. A passionate music educator, active clinician, and master teacher, Willer enjoys frequent engagements with high school and collegiate ensembles across the country. She holds graduate degrees in conducting from Boston University (DMA and MM) and an undergraduate degree in music education and trumpet performance from Luther College (BM).
At Peabody, Willer joins a diverse roster of artist-faculty colleagues charged with implementation of the Conservatory’s Breakthrough Curriculum in Performing Arts Leadership, a model at the forefront of arts training in the United States. The Breakthrough Curriculum is designed to help students develop skills in performance excellence, career development, and citizen artistry to meet the demands of today’s ever-changing musical landscape.