Geoffrey Paul Boers

Director of Choral Activities
Ruth Sutton Waters Endowed Professor

Geoffrey Boers is Director of Choral Activities and the Ruth Waters Professor of Music at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he leads a program widely recognized as innovative, vibrant, and forward thinking. Under his direction, the graduate choral program has developed a singular mission: to nurture the whole student as conductor-teacher- scholar-servant-leader. Through his teaching he is exploring the evolution of conducting gesture and rehearsal pedagogy and their connection with the emerging neuroscience of mirror neurons, empathy, perception, learning, and personal transformation. His exploration has led to new thoughts about conducting and teaching with regard to breath, movement, artistry, personal awareness, and cultural development. His work has led to the development of mentorship for local cohorts of teachers across the United States and Canada. Most recently he has developed a level-based Choral Literacies and Skills, a system for development of choral musicianship, assessment, adjudication, and repertoire grading. After four years of development, the CLaS rubric has been adopted by National Association of Music Educators, NAfME, and Choral Canada as the national standard for choral music classes across North America. This spring in Montreal, Geoffrey will lead an unprecedented meeting of the Executive Directors of these two organizations, along with American Choral Directors Association, ACDA, and National Association for Teachers of Singing, NATS. These organization are collaborating for the first-time ever, in support of CLaS for all choral teachers as a way to modernize pedagogy across North America.

As a conductor and teacher, Geoffrey maintains an active schedule of concerts, workshops, clinics, and master classes. He has conducted in many of the major concert halls across the United States and Canada, as well as concerts in Europe, Asia and Australia. He has the opportunity to work with thousands of singers of all ages and diverse cultures each year. This work served as the foundation of his research in empathy and perception, and his creation of gesture and pedagogy that communicates to today’s learners. He is well-known for innovative programming and finding ways to make choral performances meaningful and transformative to modern audiences. This summer, Geoffrey will speak on this topic to the World Symposium of Choral Music in Auckland, New Zealand.

Geoffrey conducts the UW Chamber Singers, a choir of graduate and advanced undergraduate music majors studying choral conducting, vocal performance, music education, as well as many students from programs across campus. The choir is noted for its vocal agility, varied color, and expressivity, and have been featured at many festivals, conventions, and workshops, including NWACDA, Musicfest Canada, and at the national conventions of the American Kodaly Educators, National Association of Schools of Music, and American Musicological Society.

Geoffrey Boers has a long relationship with the UW’s internationally recognized Baltic Studies program, having created the Baltic Choral Collection, and traveled with
Chamber Singers to the Baltic five times. They will return again in the summer of 2019 to participate in the Estonian National Song Festival. The choir has just released its first professionally produced CD …behold again, the stars on Centaur Records.

Professional Affiliations: 

ACDA, NAfME, Chorus America, Symphony Tacoma