Grammy® Award winning conductor Jerry Blackstone is Director of Choirs and Chair of the Conducting Department at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance where he conducts the Chamber Choir, teaches conducting at the graduate level, and administers a choral program of eleven choirs. In February 2006, he received two Grammy® Awards (“Best Choral Performance” and “Best Classical Album”) as chorusmaster for the critically acclaimed Naxos recording of William Bolcom’s monumental Songs of Innocence and of Experience. In 2006, the Chamber Choir performed by special invitation at the inaugural convention of the National Collegiate Choral Organization in San Antonio, and in 2003, the Chamber Choir presented three enthusiastically received performances in New York City at the National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). In addition to Professor Blackstone’s choral conducting work at the University, he has led operatic productions with the University of Michigan Opera Theatre, including productions of Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen and Strauss’s Die Fledermaus. For significant contributions to choral music in Michigan, he received the 2006 Maynard Klein Lifetime Achievement Award from the ACDA-Michigan chapter.
Professor Blackstone is considered one of the country’s leading conducting teachers, and his students have received first place awards and been finalists in both the graduate and undergraduate divisions of the American Choral Directors Association biennial National Choral Conducting Awards competition.
He has appeared as festival guest conductor and workshop presenter in thirty states as well as New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. Guest appearances for 2013-14 include festivals and conference presentations in South Carolina, Virginia, Florida, California, New York, Georgia, Texas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Shanghai, and New Zealand. Choirs prepared by Dr. Blackstone have appeared under the batons of Valery Gergiev, Neeme Järvi, Leonard Slatkin, John Adams, Helmuth Rilling, James Conlon, Nicholas McGegan, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Peter Oundjian, and Yitzak Perlman.