Brock McElheran

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Brock McElheran (6 January 1918 – 23 September 2008)[1] was a conductor and professor at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam and a published author. He was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

He wrote the textbook Conducting Techniques for Beginners and Professionals, which is used today in several conducting classes around the world. He also authored Music Reading by Intervals: A Modern Sight-Singing and Ear-Training Method for Singers, Conductors, and Teachers and a book recalling his experiences in World War II, V-Bombs and Weathermaps.

Besides conducting various ensembles at the Crane School of Music, McElheran has also conducted various ensembles around the world, including the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Two major activities outside of Potsdam were the Saratoga-Potsdam Choral Institute, SPCI (c 1970-1984), a three-week summer school held at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, and conductor of The Elgar Choir in Montreal (c 1972-1980?).

He conducted the orchestra and chorus at the closing ceremonies of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. On July 3, 1986, Brock conducted the Liberty Weekend Chorus on Governors Island in New York. The opening ceremony was televised worldwide on ABC and hosted by Peter Jennings and Barbara Walters. While the Liberty Weekend Chorus sang, the Liberty Orchestra performed, conducted by famous conductor and composer, John Williams. Brock had various compositions published too. During his active career he prepared choruses for many of the world's leading conductors, including Eugene Ormandy, Robert Shaw and Zubin Mehta. He died in Potsdam, New York. He was well-loved.

Recently, Nelly Maude Case, a professor at Crane, wrote a biography on McElheran, Worry Early: The Life of Brock McElheran. It is available from the SUNY Potsdam college store website. McElheran's other books are available on


  1. ^ Brock McElheran, SUNY Potsdam conductor passes away Brock McElheran, SUNY Potsdam conductor passes away.

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