Meet the Conductors

Ken Berg, Children’s Choir

For 28 years Ken Berg served as the Director of Choirs and Fine Arts Chairman at John Carroll Catholic High School in Birmingham. The choirs at John Carroll consistently received highest ratings in district, state and national festivals under his leadership. After retiring from teaching high school in 2005, Ken served for six years as the full-time Music Minister and Composer in Residence at Mountain Brook Baptist Church, also in Birmingham. As of the summer of 2011, after serving as the part-time Music Director for 33 years, Ken now serves as the first full-time Music Director and Resident Composer for the Birmingham Boys Choir. ([email protected]) Under his leadership the Choir has toured extensively throughout the United States as well as internationally in Costa Rica, Europe, Japan, and Canada. Additionally, the Choristers of the BBC have sung for OAKE, MENC and ACDA State, Division and National conventions. Ken and his wife, Susan are the proud parents of two sons, Michael and David; both fine musicians in their own right, as well as BBC Alumni! Ken has served as a State and Southern Division officer with the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and has also served on the Training Courses Committee of the Royal School of Church Music in America. Additionally he is currently teaching Choral Arranging as an adjunct at his Alma Mater, Samford University. Ken often serves as clinician and adjudicator throughout the U.S. His music is published with Bella Voce Press, LLC (www.bellavocepress.com), Alfred Music, Carl Fischer, Chorister’s Guild, Colla Voce, Fred Bock, Hal Leonard, Hinshaw Music, Kjos Music, MorningStar Music, Pavane Music, Santa Barbara Music Publishers and Walton Music.


Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, Youth Choir

Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, Litton-Lodal Artistic Director of the American Boychoir, began his musical studies at the age of ten in his native Spain. His undergraduate degrees in piano performance and music theory are from the Reál Conservatorio Superior de Música in Madrid, and he has also completed his Kodály certification in Kécskemet, Hungary, where he was awarded the prestigious Sharolta Kodály scholarship. He also holds a master’s degree in Choral Conducting from The Ohio State University and has completed all coursework toward a doctoral degree in musical arts from the University of Illinois. Widely sought after internationally as a guest conductor, lecturer, and clinician, Malvar-Ruiz is recognized as an expert in the adolescent male evolving voice. He joined the American Boychoir School as Associate Music Director in 2000 and was appointed to the position of Litton-Lodal Music Director in 2004. Each year, he leads the American Boychoir in over one hundred performances and on tours throughout the United States and the world. During his tenure, the American Boychoir has performed for major national and international events including the 9/11 Memorial Service (broadcast worldwide live on CNN), the Academy Awards, the Youth AIDS Benefit Gala and the US Open Tennis Tournament, among others. The American Boychoir, under Mr. Malvar’s leadership, was chosen to perform at the 2009 ACDA National Convention in Oklahoma, the 2010 Kodály National Conference in Dallas, Texas, as well as many regional ACDA and NAFMA conventions. In 2014, the American Boychoir made its feature film debut in Boychoir starring Dustin Hoffman, Kathy Bates, Josh Lucas and newcomer Garrett Wareing. Members of the American Boychoir are prominently featured in the film, and Mr. Malvar-Ruiz appears as Maestro Molina, in addition to his roles as Music Director, Choirmaster and Arranger for the film. Mr. Malvar-Ruiz served as Artistic Director and Guest Conductor for the 2005 World Children’s Choir Festival in Hong Kong and the 2015 PICFEST in Eugene, OR. He has conducted honor choirs at American Choral Director’s Association national and regional conventions and at the Organization of American Kodály Educators national conventions. For 11 summers, he instructed the summer master’s program in Kodály at Capital University, and in 2007-2012, he served on the faculty at the Academia Internacional de Verano de Dirección Coral y Pedagogía Musical in Las Palmas, Spain.


Lilla Gábor, Chamber Ensemble

Lilla Gábor, born in Budapest, Hungary, graduated from the Liszt Academy summa cum laude, majoring in Choral Conducting and Music Pedagogy, and pursued post-graduate studies at the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts and at Temple University (Philadelphia, USA) in Contemporary Music, Chamber Music, Piano Accompaniment and Choral Conducting. She is in great demand as guest professor, lecturer and choral conductor at universities, conservatories and festivals in Hungary, Canada, United States, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Slovakia, Denmark, Italy, Ireland, England, Spain, Belgium, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, India and Australia. Her past positions include: Professor at the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music (Kecskemét, Hungary), Co-Director of International House Budapest – Music Department, Co-Director of Vigadó-Redoute International Music Courses (Budapest, Hungary), Professor at The Kodály Center of America (West Newton, Massachusetts, USA), Professor at Universität Duisburg (Germany), Founder and Director of the International Summer Academy of Choral Conducting and Music Pedagogy in Las Palmas (Canary Islands, Spain), Guest Professor, Conductor and Researcher at the Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil), Music Director of “Canta São Paulo”, a project of Coral Paulistano Mário de Andrade, Theatro Municipal de São Paulo (Brazil), among others.

 


Andrea Ramsey, Concert Women’s Choir

Composer, conductor, and scholar, Dr. Andrea Ramsey enjoys a working with singers of all ages and abilities. Currently, she is on faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder, as Assistant Professor of Conducting and Associate Director of Choral Studies. Dr. Ramsey enjoys guest conducting opportunities with all-state choirs, and has also conducted honor choirs for divisional conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. Additionally, she serves as principal conductor for the Pacific International Young Women’s Choral Festival in Eugene, Oregon. An ASCAPlus award-winning composer, she has approximately 90 published choral works in print with traditional publishers such as Alliance, Boosey & Hawkes, Carl Fischer, Colla Voce, G. Schirmer, GIA, Pavane, Santa Barbara and Walton. She is also venturing into digital publishing via web-based music marketplace, www.musicspoke.comA composer with a teacher’s heart, Dr. Ramsey enjoys collaborating with choirs through residencies. She maintains close ties as composer-in-residence for the Allegro Choirs of Kansas City, and has also enjoyed residencies at Ithaca College, and the Crescent City Choral Festival in New Orleans. As a scholar, Dr. Ramsey has presented for state, divisional, and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, and also at the 6th Annual Symposium on Sociology in Music Education, as well as The Phenomenon Singing Symposium in St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada. An active member of ACDA, CMS, and ASCAP, she believes strongly in the positive impact created through rehearsing and performing meaningful choral music.