Robert De Cormier

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Robert De Cormier (aka Bob Corman) (born January 7, 1922) is an American musical conductor, arranger, and director. He has arranged music for many singers and groups, including Harry Belafonte and Peter, Paul, and Mary, and has worked with Milt Okun.

Early life[edit]

De Cormier attended, and graduated from, the Juilliard School.


Bob De Cormier was the music teacher and chorus director at Elisabeth Irwin High School on Charlton Street, New York City, part of the Little Red School House on Bleecker Street, NYC. He was there at least from 1954 to 1957. He and his wife, singer, Louise De Cormier collected and recorded folksongs from the Catskill Mountains in NYState. He arranged the music in The Weavers Songbook. He also arranged for Peter, Paul & Mary.

Robert De Cormier has composed music for chorus as well as ballet and Broadway scores, but is perhaps most famous for his spiritual arrangements.[citation needed]. His ballet score Rainbow ‘Round My Shoulder is in the active repertoire of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He has directed concerts and recordings for television specials, and was choral director for a television special and recording starring Jessye Norman and Kathleen Battle, conducted by James Levine.

De Cormier was the conductor and leader of The Belafonte Folk Singers during most of its lifetime from 1957 to 1965. He also headed The Robert De Cormier singers, who performed extensively in the mid-1960s and then on and off until the mid-1990s

Robert De Cormier was Music Director and Conductor of the New York Choral Society from 1970–1987 and is a Music Director Emeritus. In 1993, De Cormier helped to found the Vermont Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and remains its director. He founded Counterpoint, a Vermont-based choral group which consists of eleven members. He has conducted music for the operas Der Kaiser von Atlantis and Brundibár. He has also recorded several Christmas albums with his choral group, The Robert De Cormier Singers.

De Cormier taught a class at Saint Michael's College (Colchester, VT) entitled "Songs of Resistance: Music in Struggle" in 2008. Recently De Cormier conducted at the Vermont International Music Festival in the summer of 2009. In the Winter of 2012 he directed the Chorus at the Vermont High School Honors Music Festival held at Castleton State College.

Memberships and honors[edit]

De Cormier has served on the New York State Council on the Arts, and has been a member of the choral panel for the National Endowment for the Arts. He was presented the 2002 Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts by the Vermont Arts Council, and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the New York Choral Society and Choral Arts New England.

He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Middlebury College in 2007, and an honorary degree from the University of Vermont in 2012.[1]


  1. ^ "University Communications : University of Vermont". Retrieved 2012-01-27. 

External links[edit]