James D. Feiszli
Location: South Dakota, USA
Feiszli co-founded Choralist with the late Walter Collins in 1993 and oversaw the growth of Choralist into the non-profit corporation known as ChoralNet. Along the way he assisted the International Federation for Choral Music and the American Choral Directors Association with their initial ventures into the online world. Feiszli was the guiding force behind ChoralNet, serving as registered agent for the corporation, president of the board of directors, and representative to IFCM for sixteen years. He engineered ChoralNet's merger with ACDA in 2009 and served as the Director of ChoralNet for ACDA until April 2012.
Professor of Humanities and Director of Music Activities at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Feiszli holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Mount Union College, where he was a voice major but also maintained an instrumental emphasis, playiing first chair tuba in the Brass Choir and Symphonic Band. He received a Master of Music degree in Music History from the University of Akron in 1981. He then left Ohio and public school teaching to obtain a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Music from Arizona State University. Feiszli has studied choral conducting with Bruce S. Browne, Frank Jacobs, and Douglas R. McEwen and musicology with John McDonald and Robert D. Reynolds. He did post-doctoral study in Gregorian chant semiology with Dr. Mary Berry of Cambridge University and is a recognized authority on the music of Heinrich Isaac, arguably the most influential composer of the early Renaissance, based on recent studies.
At the SDSMT since 1983, Dr. Feiszli, created the music curriculum for the institution - the state's flagship research institute - founding the Concert Choir, Master Chorale, Symphonic Band, Brass Choir, and other music courses and ensembles. Singers under Feiszli’s direction have appeared throughout the U.S. and Europe, in 2006 taking three first-place awards at the Association of Irish Musical Societies choral competition in Ireland.
Feiszli has been a guest conductor, adjudicator, consultant, lecturer, and soloist throughout the U.S. and Europe. He spent the spring of 2008 as Artist-in-Residence at the cathedral of Constance (Germany) preparing, rehearsing, and performing for the Quincentennial celebrations of Heinrich Isaac's Choralis Constantinus. Active in the musical life of Rapid City for over twenty-five years, Dr. Feiszli founded and sings with his vocal ensemble Dakota Voices. The Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce awarded him the Rushmore Honors Award in 2003, citing his outstanding achievements in community music. A life member of the American Choral Directors Association, Feiszli served as South Dakota ACDA president for three years, establishing the summer and winter conferences and website for SDACDA. Feiszli has served the national ACDA as a member of the national ACDA Technology Committee and as Director of ACDA's International Conductors Exchange Program. Feiszli is an official Advisor to the International Federation for Choral Music and Musica International. He is also a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the National Collegiate Choral Organization. He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by South Dakota ACDA in 2010. the Meritorius Music Educators Award by South Dakota MENC in 2010, was named the SDSMT Presidential Outstanding Professor for 2011, and is listed in the International Who's Who in Choral Music. He was recently named the Carnegie Professor of the Year for South Dakota.