yrmusic.comartistsbiosDennis Coleman

Dennis Coleman (b. 1948)

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Dennis Coleman is best known for his work with the Seattle Men's Chorus, a professional caliber community chorus of 220 auditioned singers and 40 non singing associate members. Under his leadership since 1981, the Seattle Men's Chorus has developed the largest choral audiences in the Pacific Northwest. The group has sung throughout the United States in major halls including New York's Carnegie, Avery Fisher and Alice Tully Halls, San Francisco's Opera House and Davies Hall, Boston's Symphony Hall and Dallas' Meyerson Hall. European performances have seen the group in Barcelona's Palau de Musica, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw and London's Westminster Meeting Hall. Coleman is an expert in choral arts administration, works with a professional staff of 10 full-time associates within a yearly budget of over 2.3 million dollars.

Success by the numbers comes only when the choral singing is world class. Coleman believes in dynamic performances that fully engage the listening audience. He is a proponent of using a wide variety of choral styles including a strong emphasis on multi-cultural repertoire. Concerts by the Seattle Men's Chorus include professional production elements of staging, costuming, lighting and scenic design when appropriate to the music.

Coleman has commissioned and premiered choral works from many leading composers including Gian Carlo Menotti,Ned Rorem, Robert Moran, Conrad Susa, David Diamond, Robert Seeley, British composer Paul Patterson and Canadian Stephen Hatfield. Of Rage and Remembrance, a 15 minute work for male chorus, mezzo soprano, speakers and orchestra, which Coleman asked composer John Corigliano to write was premiered by Coleman in Seattle in 1991. A recording of this work and the companion Symphony 1 (also called Of Rage and Remembrance) by the National Symphony under Leonard Slatkin was awarded the 1998 Grammy for Best Classical Album.

Coleman has collaborated with acclaimed artists including Maya Angelou, Bobby Mc Ferrin, Tatiana Troyanos, the Mark Morris Dance Group, Harvey Fierstein, Michael Feinstein, Ann Hampton Callaway, Liz Callaway, Marni Nixon, Diane Schuur, and Armistead Maupin, Faith Prince and Lili Tomlin. Coleman is active as a clinician throughout the U.S. and Canada and also leads board development and long range planning sessions for choruses in those countries. He served for 6 years on the national Board of Directors for Chorus America and co-chaired the national conference of that organization in Seattle in 1995. He has served as an officer in ACDA and was on the founding Board of Directors of GALA Choruses. Within GALA Choruses, he co-chaired the national Festival in 1989 and has served on planning committees for subsequent Festivals in Tampa and San Jose.


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