After twelve years on the faculty of the prestigious Eastman School of Music, Rochester New York, Donald Neuen accepted the position of Professor of Music/Conducting and Director of Choral Activities for UCLA in 1993. He immediately developed the highly acclaimed UCLA Chorale and an outstanding graduate program in choral conducting with both the Master of Music (MM) and the Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA). Neuen is also the resident guest conductor of the 130-voice, highly select Los Angeles based Angeles Chorale, a large chorus whose repertoire emphasizes major works for chorus and orchestra. In 1999, he accepted the additional position of Choral Conductor and Minister or Music for the internationally televised Crystal Cathedral Choir with Robert Schuller’s "Hour of Power", seen weekly in over 100 countries totaling 20 million viewers. The special mission of Neuen with this great choir is to bring to the world the finest quality of sacred music, performed with the highest standards of professional excellence. The repertoire ranges from traditional anthems to opera and oratorio choruses, sung in both English and many foreign languages. Jan von den Bosch, one of Europe’s leading entrepreneurs, hailed the Choir (on its European tour) as "The greatest choir in the world".
Prior to his work at Eastman, Neuen served on the faculties of the Universities of Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Ball State, and as Director of both Choral and Orchestral Activities for Georgia State University in Atlanta.
Robert Shaw brought Neuen to Atlanta in 1970, as his Assistant Conductor, to create the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus. The collaboration of Neuen and Shaw in the performance of major works for
chorus and orchestra began in 1959. Mr. Shaw, a major force in Neuen’s development as a choral conductor, was his teacher, musical advisor, and mentor. Neuen was a member of the world famous Robert Shaw Chorale.
In addition to choral conducting, Neuen’s unique orchestral experience includes the position of Conductor and Musical Director of the Oak Ridge (Tennessee) Symphony Orchestra and Assistant Conductor of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. He has conducted professional orchestras in the United States, Canada, Spain, Mexico, and the Russian Chamber Orchestra Kremlin during their tour in the U.S. – and was Director of Choral and Orchestral Activities for Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia.
His wide-range of choral experience includes teaching all levels of public school music; conducting church, community, symphony and collegiate choruses, chamber music, and opera. He has also been innovative in the areas of Jazz and Show Choirs. He is internationally recognized for the presentation of major extended works for chorus, soloists and orchestra.
He has served as guest conductor, lecturer, and clinician in Europe, Asia, Mexico, Canada, and nearly every state in the U.S., working with professional and community choruses and orchestras, all-state high school choruses, collegiate honor choruses, state national and international church music workshops/performances, international music festivals, and divisional and national convention programs of the American Choral Director’s Association and the Music Educator’s National Conference.
Neuen studied extensively with major renowned choral conductors Robert Shaw and Roger Wagner; and with musicologists Julius Herford, Alfred Mann, Karl Geiringer, Lara Hogggard and Patrick Macy. His musical editions and compositions are published by Lawson-Gould and Hinshaw Music, Inc.
His widely used textbook on choral techniques, methods and conducting, Choral Concepts, is published by Wadsworth Publishing Co/Thompson Learning/Schirmer. The Choral Excellence Series publishes a recently revised (2008) seven-set videos and DVDs of Neuen’s conducting, choral techniques and teaching methods. They also publish his recently (2008) revised booklet for singers: Empower the Choir! – Concepts for Singers.
The textbook, DVD’s, and booklet were all translated into Korean, for South Korean choral conductors in 2007. (With sixteen 40-voice full-time professional choruses, Korea has now established the finest nationwide choral music program in the world.) Neuen has served the Korean conductors often as guest conductor, lecturer, and now with his choral teaching publications. The latest of these is a (July, 2010) publication of Handel’s Messiah, in Korean, edited by D.N.