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Douglas Buchanan

Baltimore, MD         

Hailed for his “sense of creative imperative” (The Philadelphia Inquirer) and “ability to get under the skin of [the music’s] core material” (The Scotsman), Douglas Buchanan’s conducting has been noted for his “keen sense of mood, dynamics, and pacing” and eliciting “assured, nuanced singing” from the ensembles he leads (The Baltimore Sun). His conducting and compositions have been broadcast on numerous programs, including Music in Maryland and The WBJC Choral Hour (WBJC Baltimore), Choral Arts Classics (WYPR Baltimore), Christmas with Choral Arts (WMAR ABC-2), and Encore! (WRTI Philadelphia).

Buchanan resides in Baltimore, Maryland, where he serves as Director of Music  at St. David’s Episcopal Church, Music Theory and Musicology Faculty at the Peabody Conservatory, Composition Faculty at Dickinson College, in addition to serving as Artistic Director of the Maryland Choral Society. At St. David’s, Buchanan oversees the Concert, Evensong, Ensemble-in-Residence, and Composer-in-Residence programs; these last two were founded by him. Under his direction, the Choir of St. David’s has been broadcast multiple times on WBJC, Maryland’s Classical Music Station, and has given world, national, and local premieres, including works of Michael Hersch (From Ecclesiastes, world premiere), Sally Beamish (“Nunc Dimittis,” from St Catherine’s Service, US premiere), and Anna Thorvaldsdottir (Heyr þú oss himnum á, Midatlantic premiere). Under his baton the Maryland Choral Society will give the Midatlantic Premiere of Marianna von Martines’ rarely-performed Dixit Dominus in March 2017. Previously, Buchanan served as Director of Music at Historic Old St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where he conducted the St. Paul’s Choir of Men and Boys, the second oldest choir of its kind in the nation. He has served on the conducting faculty of Towson University, and in 2014 conducted the opening performance of the American Choral Directors Association Easter Division Conference, leading Canticum Novum, the new- and early-music choir he co-founded. As a guest conductor, he has conducted the Handel Choir of Baltimore, the Canticle Singers of Baltimore, the Baltimore Choral Arts Society Chamber Chorus, the Musicians of Mercy, and the Peabody Chamber Opera.

Buchanan’s compositions, which have been noted for being “filled with terrific orchestral color and weight, not to mention feeling” (The Baltimore Sun) have been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Presser Award, an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer’s Award, and a Pi Kappa Lambda Performance Award. He was selected as a member of the 2012 Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Student Composer Readings for his work Malleus, which subsequently won the 2012 Macht Competition for Best Orchestral Score as well as the 2013 Symphony in C Young Composer’s Award. From 2016-2018 he will serve as Composer-in-Residence of the Dallas Chamber Symphony, and is excited to work with an organization from his hometown to bring new music to underserved audiences.

An active scholar and educator, Buchanan presents regularly at regional, national, and international conferences, including the 2016 National College Music Society Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico (on utilizing games and game theory in the collegiate music classroom), the 2015 International College Music Society Conference in Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland (on the timbral and orchestrational structure of Sibelius’ Symphony no. 4), the 2014 Ecomusicologies conference (on the concept of the absent referent in cetacean musics), and was a recipient of the 2013 Lowens Award for Outstanding Graduate Research from the American Musicological Society, Capital Chapter. In addition to teaching at Peabody and Dickinson, he has taught composition at Towson University (where he co-founded the Towson Symphony Young Composers Readings), has served as a composition mentor for the Baltimore Choral Arts Society Student Composers Readings, and has given guest lectures at the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Baltimore, SUNY Fredonia, and the Shenandoah Conservatory.

As a recitalist, Buchanan performs solo organ and piano concerts throughout the country, including at the Washington National Cathedral and the Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art. In 2017, Douglas and his brother Benjamin will work with Johns Hopkins University in a pilot program called Side-by-Side Singing, offering opportunities for dementia patients and their caregivers to make music together. Having received a Dean’s Incentive Grant from the Peabody Conservatory, the two brothers will also be working with St. David’s Episcopal Church, Paul’s Place Outreach Center, and Peabody to found the Street Choir of Baltimore, a musical outreach program for individuals experiencing poverty and homeless in Baltimore.

Ubi Caritas, by Michael Rickelton (World Premiere)

Douglas Buchanan directs the Canticum Novum Chamber Chorus in the world premiere of Michael Rickelton’s “Ubi Caritas,” May 22, 2014, at Old St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Baltimore.

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Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, BWV 131, by J.S. Bach

Douglas Buchanan conducts the Choir of St. David’s in a performance of J.S. Bach’s Cantata 131 at the 40th Annual Baltimore Bach Marathon on March 13, 2016 at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland.

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“O Immanuel,” from Magnificat Antiphons, by Arvo Pärt

The Choir of St. David’s, under the direction of conductor Douglas Buchanan, performs Arvo Pärt’s “O Immanuel,” the final movement of the composer’s “Magnificat Antiphons,” at the 2016 Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland.

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