December 13, 2016
Nashville, Tenn. – The Nashville Symphony has announced that Dr. Tucker Biddlecombe, Associate Professor and Director of Choral Activities at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, has been named Director of the Nashville Symphony Chorus. Biddlecombe has served as Interim Director of the ensemble since July.
Since his appointment as Interim Director, Biddlecombe has prepared the all-volunteer Chorus for a number of performances this year, including Mahler’s Second Symphony and this week’s upcoming performances of Handel’s Messiah.
“In just a few short months, Dr. Biddlecombe’s insight and expertise have made a tremendous impact on the Nashville Symphony Chorus, Music City’s premiere choral ensemble for more than 50 years,” said Giancarlo Guerrero, Nashville Symphony Music Director. “He continues to elevate and build on the ensemble’s long-standing reputation for excellence in performance, and I am excited to work with him in the years to come.”
“I’m honored and humbled to be named the 11th Director of the Nashville Symphony Chorus. For more than five decades, this organization has been dedicated to the highest levels of performance and artistry, and I am thrilled to help carry on this tradition of excellence,” said Biddlecombe. “Any chorus is only as good as the community within, and during my short time with the Chorus I’ve found our singers to be extremely passionate, generous of their gifts, and wholly dedicated to the success of classical music in Music City.”
After a decade of experience as a public school music educator, Biddlecombe helped reinvigorate choral activities at the Blair School of Music since joining the faculty in 2012. He teaches courses in choral conducting, serves as Director of Blair’s five-year Bachelor of Music/Teacher Education degree program and is a recipient of the Blair Faculty Excellence Award. As conductor of the Vanderbilt Chorale and Symphonic Choir, highlights have included two national tours, choral-orchestral performances of Haydn’s Creation and Bernstein’s Mass, a community choral celebration of Benjamin Britten’s centenary and the creation of Vanderbilt’s annual Choral Prism concert, which has become the largest-drawing student performance of the Blair concert calendar. He is also an active guest conductor, having led all-state choruses in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and New York, and served as clinician for over 100 high school choirs touring Nashville.
Biddlecombe is a graduate of the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, and Florida State University where he completed doctoral studies in choral conducting and music education with André Thomas. A native of Buffalo, New York, he resides in Nashville with his wife Mary Biddlecombe, Artistic Director of the Blair Children’s Chorus — a frequent collaborator with the Nashville Symphony.
Formed in 1963, the Nashville Symphony Chorus is comprised of 200 singers representing every part of the Middle Tennessee community and regularly presents significant works from the classical repertoire, from Baroque to contemporary. In addition to at least two performances each season as part of the Nashville Symphony’s Aegis Sciences Classical Series, the Chorus also takes the spotlight every year during Voices of Spring, a free concert of choral works.