Nashville Symphony Chorus Director Dr. George Mabry will be retiring from his duties on December 31, 2011. Mabry has directed the Nashville Symphony Chorus since 1998, bringing national acclaim to the group. Under his leadership, the chorus reached several milestones: the addition of professional section leaders, an expansion of the chorus’s annual program offerings, and the participation in a total of six Nashville Symphony recordings. A published composer and arranger, Mabry plans to devote more time to composing new commissions.
“George Mabry, in his fourteen-year tenure at the helm of the Nashville Symphony Chorus, has raised the bar for excellence, leading the singers to new heights of artistic achievement, recognition and success. As the orchestra grew artistically, George made sure the chorus kept pace, enhancing the sound, repertoire and the reputation of our GRAMMY®-winning orchestra,” says Symphony President and CEO Alan Valentine.
Mabry is professor emeritus of music at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, where he served as director of the school’s Center for the Creative Arts and director of choral activities at the university until his retirement in 2003.
In addition to his choral and instrumental compositions, he has written and produced musical shows for entertainment parks around the country. He was formerly director of entertainment for Opryland U.S.A. in Nashville. While at Opryland, his musical shows toured the Soviet Union under the auspices of the U.S. State Department and were performed three times for the President of the United States at the White House.
In 1983, Mabry was honored as the first Austin Peay faculty member to receive both the Distinguished Professor Award and the Richard M. Hawkins Award for Scholarly and Creative Achievement. In 2003, he received the Governor’s Award in the Arts for Arts Leadership in Tennessee and the Spirit of Tennessee Award from the Tennessee Arts Academy.
Nashville Symphony Music Director Giancarlo Guerrero says, “It has been my pleasure to work closely with George Mabry and the talented group of singers he has assembled. Our chorus is now one of the finest symphony choruses in the country. The chorus has forged a dynamic vocal partnership with the musicians of Nashville Symphony and has become an integral part of our artistic identity. We will miss George’s steady hand guiding our chorus and wish him the best as he continues to create beautiful music.”
Douglas Rose, professor of music and department chair at Austin Peay University, will serve as interim chorus director as the Nashville Symphony launches a national search for Mabry’s successor.
The GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony has earned an international reputation for its recordings and innovative programming. With more than 140 performances annually, the 85-member orchestraoffers a broad range of classical, pops and jazz, children’s concerts and community engagement programs. The Symphony will be premiering a commission by Terry Riley at Carnegie Hall in May 2012, as part of the Spring for Music festival. As a national and international ambassador for Tennessee, the Nashville Symphony has received far-reaching acclaim for its 19 recordings on Naxos, making the ensemble one of the most active recording orchestras in the country. These recordings have receiveda total of13 GRAMMY® nominations and six GRAMMY® Awards.