Recognized as a “many-splendored musician” (The Boulder Daily Camera) and leading interpreter of new choral music, Tom Morgan has led the evolution of Ars Nova Singers from a local choral treasure to an intrepid professional choir with national acclaim. Under his leadership, the ensemble has pursued daring repertoire, innovative collaborations, and numerous commissioning projects, along with touring nationally and internationally.
In addition to his work with Ars Nova Singers, Tom served as Music Director of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Boulder for more than 32 years. Tom studied choral and orchestral conducting with Dale Warland, Helmut Rilling, and Giora Bernstein, and has taken masterclasses with Robert Shaw, Eric Ericson, and Herbert Blomstedt. In 2016 he received the Dairy Center Honors Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts and the University of Colorado-Boulder College of Music selected him as the Distinguished Alumnus of the college in 2019. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and a Master of Music degree in composition from the University of Colorado.
In addition to his work with Ars Nova, Morgan has assembled and prepared choruses for the Boulder Bach Festival, the Colorado Music Festival, the Colorado MahlerFest, and the Boulder Philharmonic. Collaborative efforts have included a production of Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky with the Boulder Philharmonic, a critically acclaimed performance of Terry Riley’s Sun Rings with the renowned Kronos Quartet (at the Colorado Music Festival), and an unusual production of Carmina Burana with the Colorado aerial dance company Frequent Flyers.
As a guest conductor, Morgan has led the Colorado Music Festival’s Chamber Orchestra, the Boulder Chamber Orchestra, the Boulder Sinfonia, the St. Cecilia Singers, a University of Colorado faculty composer’s chamber ensemble, and the Denver Bach Ensemble. He was invited to conduct a chamber ensemble for George Crumb’s Songs, Drones, and Refrains of Death at the International George Crumb Festival, with the composer present.
As a composer, Morgan was an artist-in-residence of the Lucas Artists program at the Montalvo Center for the Arts in Saratoga, California (2006-2008). He collaborated with New York visual artist Lesley Dill in the production of an extended work for a cappella chorus, I Heard a Voice, which was premiered by the Ars Nova in 2002. His composition Psalm 88 for orchestra and chorus received the prestigious BMI Award, and his choral work Four Poems of e. e. cummings was presented on the opening program of the eighth Internacional de Musica Nueva festival in Mexico City. Several of his works have been performed internationally by the Peiyang Chorus of Tianjin, China.
Joined Ars Nova: 1986
Preferred pronouns: he, him