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Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble Names Hella Johnson Music Director

Location: Oklahoma, USA
CINCINNATI, Ohio— VAE: Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble has named Craig Hella Johnson as Music Director beginning in January 2014. Entering its 34th Season in 2013-2014, VAE, Cincinnati’s premier professional chamber choir, welcomes Mr. Johnson as the fourth Music Director in the organization’s history. VAE has enjoyed artistic leadership by some of the nation’s leaders in choral conducting beginning with Founding Director, the late Dr. Elmer Thomas (1979-1988), Director Emeritus, Dr. Earl Rivers (1988-2008), and most recently, Donald Nally, Music Director since 2009. Craig Hella Johnson is renowned as one of today’s most influential voices in choral conducting. As founder and Artistic Director of Austin-based professional choral ensemble, Conspirare, Johnson has established one of the nation’s most exciting and celebrated choral organizations, a recipient of multiple Grammy Award nominations and national awards. Chorus America awarded Mr. Johnson with the 2009 Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal. Active as a composer and arranger, he is also a frequent speaker at regional and national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association.
“Accepting this position as Music Director of Vocal Arts Ensemble brings me great joy,” said Mr. Johnson. “When I came for a guest
conducting engagement in January, I fell in love with the singers—gifted vocal artists who engaged with the music, with me and with each other so fully. Their commitment to world class music making was clear and it was an extraordinary week. Cincinnati was new to me and I found myself delighted and inspired by the people I met. The city’s rich musical traditions made a deep impression on me and I am honored and grateful to join the procession of distinguished Cincinnati musicians and to make a contribution to this vibrant cultural center. I look so forward to making music with VAE and to working closely with Board President John Earls, Executive Director Nathan Bick and the wonderful circle of listeners and supporters which surrounds this beautiful ensemble.”