Since the fall of 2003, Jeffrey Douma has served as Director of the Yale Glee Club, recently hailed by The New York Times as “one of the best collegiate singing ensembles, and one of the most adventurous.” He also serves as Professor of Conducting at the Yale School of Music, where he teaches in the graduate choral program, and as founding Director of the Yale Choral Artists. He served as Artistic Director of the first Yale International Choral Festival in June, 2012.
Douma has appeared as guest conductor with choruses and orchestras on six continents, including the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Daejeon Philharmonic Choir, Buenos Aires Philharmonic Orchestra, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Solistas de la Habana, Istanbul’s Tekfen Philharmonic, the Symphony Choir of Johannesburg, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and the Central Conservatory’s EOS Orchestra in Beijing. He also currently serves as Musical Director of the Yale Alumni Chorus, which he has lead on eight international tours, and as Artist-in-Residence at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, CT, where performances ranged from Bach St. John Passion with baroque orchestra to Arvo Pärt Te Deum.
Choirs under his direction have performed in Leipzig’s Neue Gewandhaus, Dvorak Hall in Prague, St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Notre Dame de Paris, Argentina’s Teatro Colon, the Oriental Arts Center in Shanghai, Avery Fisher Hall and Carnegie Hall, and he has prepared choruses for performances under such eminent conductors as William Christie, Valery Gergiev, Sir Neville Marriner, Sir David Willcocks, Dale Warland, Krzysztof Penderecki, Nicholas McGegan, Mark Morris, and Helmuth Rilling.
Douma has presented at state, divisional, and national conventions of the ACDA and NCCO, and the Yale Glee Club has appeared as a featured ensemble at the 2009 NCCO National Conference and the 2012 ACDA Eastern Division Convention.
Active with musicians of all ages, Douma served for four years on the conducting faculty at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, America’s premier training ground for high school age musicians, conducting the Concert Choir, Women’s Choir, and Festival Choir. He frequently serves as clinician for festivals and honor choirs.
Recent engagements include conducting masterclasses at the Beijing International College Choir Festival, the University of Michigan School of Music, the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, the Hochschule der Künste in Zurich, Fudan University in Shanghai, and the Berlin Radio Choir’s International Masterclass. Engagements in the 2014-15 season include festivals and masterclasses in New York, Colorado, Minnesota, and Connecticut, and an appearance as guest conductor of Norway’s Edvard Grieg Kor.
An advocate of new music, Douma established the Yale Glee Club Emerging Composers Competition and Fenno Heath Award, and has premiered new works by such composers as Dominick Argento, Bright Sheng, Ned Rorem, Jan Sandström, Ted Hearne, Hannah Lash, Theodore Morrison, Rene Clausen, Lewis Spratlan, and James Macmillan.
He also serves as editor of the Yale Glee Club New Classics Choral Series, published by Boosey & Hawkes. His choral arrangements are published by G. Schirmer. A tenor, Douma has appeared as an ensemble member and soloist with many of the nation’s leading professional choirs, including the Dale Warland Singers, Bella Voce of Chicago, the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus, and the Robert Shaw Festival Singers.
In the spring of 2003, Douma was one of only two North American conductors invited to compete for the first Eric Ericson Award, the premier international competition for choral conductors. Prior to his appointment at Yale he served as Director of Choral Activities at Carroll College, and also taught on the conducting faculties of Smith College and St. Cloud State University.
Douma earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the University of Michigan. He lives in Hamden, CT, with his wife, pianist and conductor Erika Schroth, and their two children, Sofia and Will.
In all its years, the Yale Glee Club has had only six previous directors:
Gustave J. Stoeckel (1861–1873)
Thomas G. Shepard (1873–1905)
G. Frank Goodale 1889 (1905–1921)
Marshall Bartholomew ’09 (1921–1953)
Fenno F. Heath, Jr. ’50 (1953–1992)
David H. Connell DMA ‘91 (1992–2002)