The Buffalo Master Chorale Team
Doreen Rao — Buffalo Master Chorale Music Director: Ms. Rao is celebrated internationally for her moving concerts and inspirational teaching. Doreen Rao’s pioneering “career of firsts” changed the landscape of music education in America. Linking the standards of performance and education with the goals of diversity, inclusion, and social responsibility, Rao’s seminal work teaching children to sing inspired a generation of conductors and teachers to lead young choirs in schools and communities around the world. In a national tribute presented to her by the American Choral Directors Association, the eminent conductor Robert Shaw wrote: “The world of choral music owes her special thanks. She is preparing our future.”
Doreen Rao holds the University of Toronto Elmer Iseler Chair in Conducting Emeritus. During her tenure as Director of UT Choral Programs, Rao founded Toronto’s International Bach Festival, and led the Faculty of Music’s graduate program in choral conducting with Canada’s Elmer Iseler Singers as University Artists-in-Residence. Her award-winning MacMillan Singers and Bach Festival Singers performed and broadcast regularly with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
From 2008, Rao served as Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus working in close collaboration with the Grammy Award-winning conductor, JoAnn Falletta. Rao conducted numerous choral concerts with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chautauqua Institute Symphony Orchestra. For her inspiration leading in Western New York, Rao was named Buffalo Woman of Influence in 2010, and was honored to be named 2012 Music Director of the Year by Western New York’s Gospel Music Association. Rao currently serves as Music Director of the Buffalo Master Chorale in association with Buffalo Niagara Choirs, Inc., an urban community of adult and youth choirs.
John Fleischman, Jr. — Resident Conductor: Mr. Fleischman holds Bachelor and Master of Music Education degrees from the State University College at Fredonia, and has done graduate work in voice performance at SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Potsdam, and the Eastman School of Music. He is presently on the music faculty at SUNY Buffalo State, teaching Class Voice and conducting the Buffalo State Chorale. He is past president of the Erie County Music Educator’s Association and previously served as NY ACDA Repertoire and Standards Chair for Children’s Choirs. Mr. Fleischman is also a member of the New York State School Music Association and the National Association for Music Education. In 1995, he was awarded the Artist-Teacher diploma after completing Level III of the Choral Music Experience Institute for Choral Music Education under the leadership of Dr. Doreen Rao. In 1997, he was the recipient of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Erie County Council of Music Coordinators Award for Excellence in Choral Music Education.
Matthew Marco — Buffalo Master Chorale Accompanist: Matthew Marco is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano from SUNY Fredonia and holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Crane School of Music (SUNY Potsdam) in Piano Performance and Musical Studies. At Fredonia he accompanies the Hillman Opera, Chamber Orchestra, and student soloists. He is the accompanist for the newly formed Buffalo Master Chorale and has played for vocal and instrumental competitions throughout the Buffalo area, in addition to maintaining an active teaching schedule. He previously studied piano with Francois Germain and Norman Zogaib, has participated in masterclasses with Karen Schmid and Ana Maria Trenchi Bottazzi, and is currently studying with Anne Kissel.
Mr. Marco has studied conducting with Paul Ferington and Brian Doyle and has participated in conducting masterclasses with Larry Rachleff, Donald Schleicher, Ann Howard Jones, Kenneth Kiesler, and Helmuth Rilling. He conducted the Hosmer Singers and Crane Symphony Orchestra in a workshop and performance of J.S. Bach’s Cantata BWV 147 for Maestro Rilling, conducted Michael Torke’s “Flint” at the Crane Saxophone conference, and has served as Music Director of the Clarkson University Orchestra.