For Immediate Release, December 19, 2018, New York, NY

Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) is pleased to announce that Dr. Doreen Rao will be the recipient of the 2019 DCINY Educator Laureate Award. Celebrated as a conductor and master teacher worldwide, Rao will receive the award on Monday, January 21, at the DCINY performance of The Music of Sir Karl Jenkins at Carnegie Hall. The ceremony will be webcast on the DCINY Facebook Page along with the entire concert. 

Doreen Rao was the Conductor Laureate for DCINY’s production of “The Music of Hadyn and Burge” on Sunday, April 5, 2009 at David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center and will be leading the 2019 DCINY Mentoring Workshop for Rising Conductors. Dr. Jonathan Griffith, DCINY Artistic Director and Conductor and Iris Derke, DCINY General Director and Co-Founder, will present the award on stage to Rao. Ms. Derke comments - “As a Conductor, Doreen has taken the craft to a new level, inspiring thousands of musicians in both the choral and orchestra world. As an Educator, Doreen is responsible for a monumental, fundamental shift resulting in higher standards of performance and the children’s choir movement in the United States. As a woman in the choral world, Doreen has provided a pristine example of what it means to be a successful female, she embodies the title of role model and sets the bar for little girls and boys who have had the honor of being in her presence.  As the great Robert Shaw has stated, "The world of choral music owes her special thanks." Doreen Rao is internationally renowned for her unforgettable concert experiences and motivational teaching styles. Her pioneering career has changed the entire landscape of music education in America and the world. Connecting the premises of performance standards and educational goals with the values of social responsibility and diversity, Rao's seminal work teaching children to sing inspired a generation of teachers and conductors to lead young choirs in communities and schools around the world. 

Currently serving as the Artistic Director of the Chicago Chamber Choir, Rao has made a concrete, dedicated commitment to intergenerational performance projects, global-style programming and unique collaborations across the ‘Windy City’. Founder of The Rao Center for Choral and Contemplative Arts, Rao has taken under her wing emerging conductors, singers and music educators to instill the practice of mindfulness-based conducting and choral teaching. 

Doreen Rao holds the University of Toronto Elmer Iseler Chair in Conducting Emeritus. During her time as Director of Choral Programs, Rao created Toronto's International Bach Festival with Bach conductor-scholar Helmuth Rilling. She led the Faculty of Music's graduate program in choral conducting with Canada's Elmer Iseler Singers as University Artists-in-Residence. Her award-winning MacMillan Singers and Bach Festival Singers performed and broadcast regularly with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Rao served as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, working in close collaboration with the Grammy Award-winning conductor JoAnn Falletta. Rao conducted numerous choral concerts with the Buffalo Philharmonic and Chautauqua Institute Symphony Orchestras and currently serves as Artistic Director of the Buffalo Master Chorale. 

As the Founder and Director of CME Institute for Choral Teacher Education, Rao provides professional development and choral certification for emerging conductors and choral music teachers. As editor and choral advisor to Boosey & Hawkes music publishers, Rao's Choral Music Experience textbooks helped set the standards for quality concert repertoire for music education. 

In addition to receiving the DCINY Educator Laureate Award in 2019, Rao received the prestigious Robert Shaw Choral Award, the American Choral Directors Association’s lifetime achievement award, which recognizes extraordinary contributions to the art of choral music. The American Choral Directors Association has honored Rao for her “commitment to choral excellence” and a CBS television documentary called her musical achievements "extraordinary."

The DCINY Educator Laureate Award acknowledges an individual’s contribution to music education. It recognizes a personal commitment to instilling a life-long love of making music.  The award recognizes an educator who has contributed uniquely and significantly to some aspect of the broad scope of music education. The award can be given for cumulative lifetime achievement or a singular contribution. 

Past recipients of the award are Dr. Milburn Price, former National President of the American Choral Directors Association and Dean of the School of Performing Arts at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama,  Dr. Donald D. Donaldson, professor emeritus of Asbury College and former choral director at Shawnee Mission South High School and chair of the music department at Kansas Wesleyan University; Craig Jessop, former music director of the world famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Music Director of the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra; and Dr. Eph Ehly, formerly the Director of Choral Studies at the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. 

About Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY)

Founded in 2007 by Iris Derke and Jonathan Griffith, with its first public performance in January 2008, DCINY is a leading producer of dynamic musical entertainment in renowned venues. Over 40,000 musicians representing 47 countries and all 50 of the United States have participated in DCINY productions. Since the inception of the company, DCINY has produced 19 world premieres and more than 200 concerts for over 200,000 audience members. 

DCINY celebrated its 10th Anniversary Season in 2018. With unforgettable world-class concert experiences, empowering educational programs, and a global community of artists and audiences, DCINY changes lives through the power of musical performance. In addition to being selected four times for Inc. 5000, DCINY has received national recognition with multiple American Prizes including by Jonathan Griffith, Founder and Music Director of Distinguished Concerts Orchestra (Winner 2014 American Prize in Conducting, Professional Orchestra Division) and DCINY’s General Director and Co-Founder Iris Derke and the DCINY Team (Winner 2015 American Prize in Arts Marketing).Having presented numerous sold out concerts and world and US premieres, DCINY also created/supports a mentorship program for young conductors and as well as the DCINY Premiere Project which commissions new works. For more information on upcoming concerts and events please see: www.DCINY.org



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