photography Chester Munro

Dr. Jeremiah Selvey is Associate Director of Choral Activities at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois (SIUC), where he teaches applied voice, conducting, choral methods, advanced aural skills, and diction and also directs the Choral Union. He is a conductor, teacher, researcher, singer, arranger/composer, and nonprofit founder, who grew up as a musician in Spain and in the United States. Jeremiah’s musical career has followed an international path with multiple performances and tours in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, England, Ireland, and Scotland. His research in conducting and choral performance perception has been presented in Spain, Taiwan, Greece, and throughout North America

Currently, Dr. Selvey conducts three major choruses. The SIUC Choral Union is comprised of community members and students, while CHARIS, a vocal ensemble in Saint Louis, Missouri, is comprised of non-auditioned treble voices. Chorosynthesis Singers, a project-based, professional ensemble active primarily in Seattle, Washington. He has conducted academic choirs at Moody Bible Institute, Northwestern University, Emory University, and the University of Washington (2004-2008, 2009-2012). He has conducted multiple community, church, and high school groups in Venezuela, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, and the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to conducting from the canon, Dr. Selvey's conducting activity has included conducting multiple commissions and new works, as well as preparing and/or conducting multiple masterworks, including Verdi's Requiem, Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem, several Classical/Romantic masses, Handel's Messiah, Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, Mendelossohn's Elijah, Jenkins' The Armed Man, Finzi's In Terra Pax, and several early music masses in venues of major metropolitan areas throughout the United States. Jeremiah has had the privilege of studying with great conducting teachers, including Simon Carrington, Peter Phillips, Jerry Blackstone, Kent Hatteberg, Geoffrey Boers, Giselle Wyers, Robert Harris, and Eric Nelson. 

Using the conductor as a visual stimulus and the choir as the aural stimulus, Dr. Selvey's dissertation examined how both the visual and aural modes of perception interacted in the perception of a choir's performance. His co-authored research study, "The Effect of Conductor Expressivity on Choral Performance Evaluation," was published in the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education (Winter 2014). In addition to this publication, Dr. Selvey's review of the CD I Have Had Singing is currently in press with the Choral Scholar. In October 2015, Dr. Selvey will be helping train choral teachers from all around North America in the use of movement to unlock expression at the National Teacher In-Service of the National Association for Music Education in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Selvey has also recently presented at Chorus America and at the International Festival of Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses, as well as the regional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association and the National Association for Music Education on the topics of networking for emerging leaders, vocal coaches for community choruses, transgender voice transitions, and transforming choral culture. Additionally, Dr. Selvey regularly contributes to the field of choral repertoire by way of tailored compositions and arrangements, commissioned by community and collegiate choirs.

Dr. Selvey's collegiate teaching experience spans from 2004 to the present. At the University of Washington (2009-2012), Dr. Selvey taught the UW Men’s Glee Club and UW Summer Chorale and guest lectured regularly to classes of 400 students. He was a Pre-doctoral Teaching Associate and also assisted in teaching undergraduate and graduate conducting and choral technique courses and served as assistant conductor to the top choral ensembles: University Chorale and University Chamber Singers. His conducting performance with University Chamber Singers of “In Lumine” by Guggenheim-winning composer Huck Hodge was well-received by composer, Chamber Singers, and audience alike. At Emory University (2006-2008), Dr. Selvey was instrumental in re-founding the Emory Women's Chorus, which he also conducted. He also co-conducted Emory Mastersingers. As a Graduate Assistant, he assisted with undergraduate music history and a graduate choral repertoire seminar. He also assisted the University Chorus and the Emory Concert Choir. At Moody Bible Institute (2005-2006), Dr. Selvey directed the Women's Concert Choir and the Handbell Ensemble, both of which toured twice and recorded a CD. While on faculty at Moody, Dr. Selvey also assisted the Music Department Chair in coordinating departmental affairs.

Dr. Selvey champions collaboration and a critical pedagogy philosophy and has overseen numerous projects with composers, dancers, visual artists, and community organizations. The "Brahms Requiem Project" is one of the most consummately collaborative projects Dr. Selvey has spearheaded. This weekend of performances for the benefit of the community involved collaboration among two conductors, two academic institutions, two religious institutions, Chorosynthesis Singers, and two pianists. Through his nonprofit Chorosynthesis, he is working on another composer-professional choir-conductor collaboration for March of  2016. Dr. Selvey's teaching also exemplifies collaboration. “Never Again…Once More” (summer 2011)—a student-centered production of a re-contextualized drama incorporating dance, acting, and challenging choral repertoire from opera, musical theater, oratorio—serves as an example of Dr. Selvey’s ability to empower students to make contributions to a great artistic cause.

As a singer, Dr. Selvey has performed as baritone and countertenor soloist in oratorio and choral music in academic and professional settings, including a world premiere opera role, as well as a world premiere solo role with chorus. In addition, Dr. Selvey has performed numerous solo recitals and in many master class performances. Selvey's roles have included solo roles in multiple Renaissance masses, several Bach cantatas and motets, Bach's Magnificat, Handel's Messiah, several Schubert masses, Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem, Faure's Requiem, Mendelssohn's Elijah, and Messiaen's Cinq Rechants. In 2007, he performed in England with the Tallis Scholars. Dr. Selvey is also a beloved vocal coach and private instructor of more than 15 years and is a proud applied teacher to both classical and musical theater majors at Southern Illinois University and Blackburn College.