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Lee R. Kesselman

Lee R Kesselman

Lee Kesselman has been Director of Choral Activities at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, a suburb of Chicago, since 1981. He is Founder and Music Director of the New Classic Singers, a professional choral ensemble. He also directs the DuPage Chorale and College of DuPage Chamber Singers. A native of Milwaukee, he holds undergraduate degrees in piano and composition from Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and a master’s degree in conducting from the University of Southern California. In addition to teaching and composing, Mr. Kesselman is active as a conductor, pianist, clinician and lecturer. He is music director for a variety of opera and musical theatre productions. Mr. Kesselman was chosen the Outstanding Faculty Member at the College of DuPage for 1994-95.

He has taught at Doreen Rao’s Choral Music Experience Institute since its inception in 1986. He has also taught in France for two summers on the faculty of the Académie International de Chant Choral in Parthenay. He has addressed state and divisional conventions of ACDA in sessions on repertoire and performance. Mr. Kesselman has accompanied many of Chicago’s finest singers in recital, including Maria Lagios, Robert Smith, Cynthia Anderson, and Donna Bruno. He has performed on the Talman Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, the Live! From Studio One series on WFMT-FM in Chicago and conducted Argento’s Postcard from Morocco for OperaWorks! in Madison, Wisconsin. Mr. Kesselman is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (A.S.C.A.P.). He has received annual ASCAP awards for his works since 1994.

Mr. Kesselman has been honored as a composer with prizes in the Melodious Accord (New York) Composition Search, Chautauqua Chamber Singers Composition Contest, the Chautauqua Children’s Chorale Composition Contest and the Illinois Choral Directors’ Association Contest. Mr. Kesselman is best known as a composer of vocal works, including opera, music for chorus, and solo songs. Large works include the opera The Bremen Town Musicans (commissioned by Opera for the Young), The Emperor's New Clothes (a choral opera), Love Phases for baritone voice and piano, Nights in Armor for mixed chorus, Shona Mass for voices and African percussion, and Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand, a symphony for treble chorus and orchestra. The Bremen Town Musicans has been performed over 300 times for Wisconsin and Illinois schoolchildren. Mr. Kesselman’s most recent works include Freedom Chimes for mixed chorus and concert band, Circle Songs for soprano, double bass and piano, and In terra aliena for mixed chorus.

Mr. Kesselman’s works for children have brought him national attention and he has been commissioned to write for children’s choirs, middle school, junior school, high school, college, community, church, and professional ensembles. Boosey & Hawkes, Roger Dean Music, Classic Artists Publishing, Lawson-Gould Music Publishers, Colla Voce and Plymouth Music Co have published Mr. Kesselman’s works. He also serves as an editor for Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers.

Mr. Kesselman lives in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and is the father of daughter Lindsay (soprano) and son, Robin (string bass).