Dr. Jerry Blackstone
Dr. Jerry Blackstone
University of Michigan
GRAMMY® Award winning conductor Jerry Blackstone was director of Choirs and chair of the Conducting Department at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance where he conducted the Chamber Choir, taught conducting at the graduate level, and administered a choral program of eleven choirs. In December 2014, the Naxos recording of Milhaud's monumental L'Orestie d'Eschyle, on which Blackstone served as chorusmaster, was nominated for a 2015 GRAMMY® Award ("Best Opera Recording"). In February 2006, he received two GRAMMY® Awards ("Best Choral Performance" and "Best Classical Album") as chorusmaster for the critically acclaimed Naxos recording of William Bolcom's monumental Songs of Innocence and of Experience. In 2006, the Chamber Choir performed by special invitation at the inaugural convention in San Antonio of the National Collegiate Choral Organization, and in 2003, the Chamber Choir presented three enthusiastically received performances in New York City at the National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). For significant contributions to choral music in the state of Michigan, he received the 2006 Maynard Klein Lifetime Achievement Award from the ACDA-Michigan chapter.
Professor Blackstone is considered one of the country's leading conducting teachers, and his students have been first place award winners and finalists in both the graduate and undergraduate divisions of the ACDA's biennial National Choral Conducting Awards competition.
Blackstone has appeared as festival guest conductor and workshop presenter in thirty states as well as New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. 2014-15 appearances include festivals and conference presentations in Australia, New Zealand, China, New York, Florida, Illinois, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Utah, and Michigan.
From 2003-2015, Dr. Blackstone served as conductor and music director of the University Musical Society (UMS) Choral Union, a large community/university chorus that frequently appears with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and presents yearly performances of Handel's Messiah and other major works for chorus and orchestra. In March 2008, he conducted the UMS Choral Union and the DSO in a special performance of the Bach, St. Matthew Passion. Choirs prepared by Blackstone have appeared under the batons of Valery Gergiev, Neeme Järvi, Leonard Slatkin, John Adams, Helmuth Rilling, James Conlon, Nicholas McGegan, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Peter Oundjian, and Yitzak Perlman.
As conductor of the U-M Men's Glee Club from 1988-2002, professor Blackstone led the ensemble in performances at ACDA national and division conventions and on extensive concert tours throughout Australia, Eastern and Central Europe, Asia, South America, and the United States. The recently released U-M Men's Glee Club CD, I have had singing, is a retrospective of his tenure as conductor of the ensemble.
Santa Barbara Music Publishing distributes Blackstone's acclaimed educational video, Working with Male Voices and publishes the Jerry Blackstone Choral Series, a set of choral publications that presents works by several composers in a variety of musical styles.
Prior to coming to the U-M in 1988, professor Blackstone served on the music faculties of Phillips University in Oklahoma, Westmont College in California, and Huntington College in Indiana. He holds degrees from the University of Southern California, Indiana University, and Wheaton College.