Published: Feb. 22, 2024 By

Coreen Duffy The University of Colorado Boulder College of Music is thrilled to announce that Director of Choral Activities Coreen Duffy will join the College of Music this fall.

“Coreen Duffy is an inspiring conductor, pedagogue and scholar,” says Associate Director of Choral Activities Elizabeth Swanson. “She is known internationally in several capacities including her work as a conductor—most recently conducting in London with an upcoming engagement at Carnegie Hall—as well as through her specialization in Jewish choral music. 

“Additionally, she’s a choral arranger and serves our profession in meaningful ways through the American Choral Directors Association [ACDA] and the National Collegiate Choral Organization [NCCO].” 

Adds Swanson, “She’ll be an excellent fit as a faculty member in the College of Music because she has an inspiring vision for the choral program, is an outstanding musician and collaborator, and will be a motivating mentor and role model for our students.”

Duffy has served as director of choral activities at the University of Montana School of Music for the past six years where she conducts the Chamber Chorale and University Choir, teaches conducting and choral methods, and supervises student teachers. Under her direction, the UM Chamber Chorale performed at the Marktoberdorf International Chamber Choir Competition and served as the master class choir for the International Conducting Competition, Germany (2022). The chorale also performed at the 75th Anniversary Festival of Music at the Hochschule für Musik Saar, Germany (2022), at Cadogan Hall and Southwark Cathedral in London (2022), at the Northwest Conference of the ACDA (2022) and at the Montana International Choral Festival (2023, 2019).

Duffy further serves as artistic director for the UM-Missoula Community Chorus—a multi-generational, non-auditioned ensemble that includes 8th-graders through 80-somethings. And as a specialist in Jewish choral music, Duffy has presented sessions on the subject at national and regional ACDA conferences, as well as the NCCO, the National Association for Music Education, the College Music Society and the international conference of the European Center for Jewish Music, Germany. Additionally, as an active clinician and composer, her works are published by Walton Music, ECS, Pavane Publishing and Hinshaw Music. 

“I can’t wait to make music with the incredible students and faculty at CU Boulder,” says Duffy, current vice president of the NCCO and president-elect of the Northwest ACDA, having previously served as its co-chair for world musics and cultures. “As we move into the second quarter of the 21st century, I think we’ll find that choirs are among the most resilient—as well as the most responsive—ensembles in the face of game-changing developments such as AI. Choral ensembles are the crossroads for the most human of interfaces—we exist where the abstract meets the tangible, where the voice touches the imagination, where poetry meets breath, pitch, camaraderie, leadership and purpose.” 

Duffy adds, “CU Boulder’s mission to develop universal musicians is invaluable in this world—our ability to advocate for our art and build bridges across communities is equal to measurements examining our technique, intonation and musicianship. 

“I’m excited to join the team of music faculty who simultaneously honor the traditional and embrace change. It’s thrilling to have the chance to work together with faculty and students to carry on the College of Music’s important legacy in choral music—and to help write the next chapter!”