Dr. Thomas Bookhout brings to The Phoenix Symphony nearly 30 years of experience in the choral art, including leading symphony, opera, university, community, school, and church choruses. Since joining The Phoenix Symphony Chorus in 2012, he has prepared the Chorus for numerous performances on a wide range of literature, including Verdi’s Requiem, Estévez’s Cantata Criolla, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Handel’s complete Messiah, and Vaughan Williams’ Serenade To Music, as well as exciting performances in the Phoenix Symphony Pops Series. During his tenure, the Chorus has grown over 40%, and has enjoyed a reputation for its engaging rehearsals, its camaraderie, and its commanding performances.
Previously, Dr. Bookhout was Chorus Master for the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, where he prepared the chorus for symphonic performances such as Britten’s War Requiem, Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony, and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast; and for fully staged operas, including Carmen, Il Trovatore, and Die Fledermaus, earning notable reviews in the American Record Guide and Opera News. Bookhout also has been Music Director of the Taghkanic Chorale (succeeding Johannes Somary and Dennis Keene in that position), Director of Choral Activities at the University of Charleston, WV, and Director of Music at The Stony Brook School.
Dr. Bookhout is Director of Fine Arts and High School Principal at Scottsdale Christian Academy, whose choir performed in a MCP masterworks performance in 2014 at Carnegie Hall. He is Director of the Sanctuary Choir at Camelback Bible Church, which regularly performs major choral-orchestral works, has been featured in performance by the AZACDA, and has toured Poland. He also is an active choral clinician and adjudicator.
Dr. Bookhout holds advanced degrees from Arizona State University and the Eastman School of Music. His choral teachers and coaches have included Donald Neuen, Donald Bailey, David Stocker, Eric Nelson, Joseph Flummerfelt, Frauke Haaseman, and Dale Warland.