Now entering his third season as director of the Nashville Symphony Chorus, Dr. Tucker Biddlecombe has raised the bar of excellence for Nashville’s premier choral ensemble through intense musical preparation, diverse programming and community-building. He serves as Associate Professor and Director of Choral Studies at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, where he directs the Vanderbilt Chorale and Symphonic Choir and teaches courses in choral conducting and music education.
Biddlecombe’s work with the Nashville Symphony has included chorus preparation for Haydn’s Creation, Verdi’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 and John Harbison’s Requiem (the last of which is set for release on Naxos in October 2018). He has conducted the orchestra and chorus in performances of Rutter’s Gloria, Bach’s Ascension Oratorio and Handel’s Coronation Anthem No. 1, as well as directing the chorus in the annual Voices of Spring concert. Notable works with Vanderbilt Choirs have included Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and a collaborative concert with the cutting-edge vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth. Last year, the Vanderbilt Chorale released their first solo album, Music in the Listening Place (Navona), with Gramophone UK noting that the Chorale “launch into each track with the earnest passion that only university music students can innocently and genuinely provide.” Biddlecombe will make his Carnegie Hall debut in 2019 conducting Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna and will finish this season conducting the Nashville Symphony Chorus in Orff’s Carmina Burana at Smetana Hall in Prague, Czech Republic.
A passionate advocate of music education and a veteran teacher, Biddlecombe serves as director of Blair’s five-year Bachelor of Music/Teacher Education degree program offered in conjunction with Peabody College at Vanderbilt. Ensembles under his direction have toured nationally and internationally, and have performed to acclaim at state and division conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. He is in demand as a conductor and clinician, having served as a clinician to choirs in 22 states, and has conducted all-state choruses in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and New York. He studied conducting under Dr. André Thomas at Florida State University and has participated in master classes for Chorus America, Eastman’s Choral Institute and the Oregon Bach Festival.
Off the podium, Biddlecombe is active as a tenor and keyboardist. He has guest-conducted performances with Music City Baroque and the Nashville Early Music Festival and serves as organist and musician at Harpeth Presbyterian Church in Brentwood. He is active in public school music programs in Nashville, working with teachers as a side-by side coach with Metro Public Schools. His web initiative, the Nashville Choral Consortium, tracks each choral ensemble and performance throughout the season and serves as a hub for community, university and church choral performance throughout Middle Tennessee.
A native of Buffalo, New York, Biddlecombe is a graduate of SUNY Potsdam and Florida State University, where he completed doctoral studies in choral conducting and music education with André Thomas. He resides in Nashville with his wife Mary Biddlecombe, Artistic Director of the Blair Children’s Chorus.