Scott Tucker (conductor)
Scott Arthur Tucker (September 17, 1957 – present) is an American conductor. He is most widely known as the artistic director of The Choral Arts Society of Washington, a position he assumed in 2012, and as the director of choral music at Cornell University from 1995-2012.
Tucker was born on September 17, 1957 in Massachusetts. He started playing the trumpet at the age of nine, His maternal grandfather was an amateur musician and his sister became a professional musician. He received a B.S. degree in psychology from Tufts University and a Bachelor of Music degree in trumpet performance from the New England Conservatory of Music through a five-year, double degree program. He then spent some years as a free lance musician in the Boston area. He subsequently earned a Master of Music degree in choral conducting from the New England Conservatory. Following his graduate degree, Tucker served as assistant choral director at Harvard University for six years under Jameson Marvin, and as choral director at Milton Academy where his duties also included coaching basketball. He also served as a tenor soloist at King's Chapel in Boston under the direction of Daniel Pinkham.
Cornell University, 1995-2012
In 1995, he was appointed as assistant professor at Cornell's music department, and as the director of choral music including responsibility for directing the Cornell University Glee Club and the Cornell University Chorus. A review of a Glee Club performance in 2000 by The Washington Post, while not uncritical, found that Tucker had "forged an ensemble of a cappella singers fully in touch with one another." Things improved steadily, and by 2011 a review in the San Francisco Classical Voice described Tucker as "a conductor who knows his medium well," praising "the ease and smoothness of the delivery, the unity in the expressive shaping of phrases, [and] the musical flow," all of which reflected "Tucker's sound musicianship and obvious rapport with his singers."
The Cornell choral program also experienced organizational growth during Tucker's tenure. In 2006, Tucker's position was endowed as the Priscilla Edwards Browning Director of Choral Music. While at Cornell, he oversaw new commissioning projects for both the Chorus and Glee Club, including a project for the Chorus informally titled "No Whining, No Flowers" that focused on commissioning women composers to set texts by women poets.
Choral Arts Society of Washington, 2012-Present
On March 28, 2012, Tucker was appointed as director of the Choral Arts Society of Washington, succeeding Norman Scribner for the 2012-13 season. Tucker was viewed as a surprise candidate and a relatively unknown figure in Washington. His musicality, rapport with the chorus during the audition process, and his fundraising and commissioning experience were all viewed as factors positively contributing to his selection.
Under Tucker's direction, the Cornell University Glee Club performed as an invited chorus at the 2009 American Choral Directors Association National Convention in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Glee Club was also accepted to compete in the 2012 Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales.
Tucker previously received a Talbot Baker Award from Milton Academy for excellence in teaching, an award from the Saint Botolph Club Foundation in Boston, and was a Presser Scholar at Tufts University.
- Professor Scott Tucker Leads Choral Music at Cornell University, Celebrity Dialogue, March 29th, 2010 (visited March 31, 2012)
- Cornell University Chorus, Our Director (visited March 31, 2012).
- Cecilia Porter, Cornell Meets Camerata, The Washington Post, Jan. 18, 2000, p. C07
- Robert P. Commanday, Alive, Awake, and SInging, San Francisco Classical Voice, January 8, 2011 (visited March 31, 2012)
- Anne Midgette, Choral Arts Society names director, Washington Post, March 29, 2012, p. C02 (different title for online version of story; visited March 31, 2012)
- "Glee Club performs in NYC June 30, previewing Welsh choir competition - Cornell Chronicle". www.news.cornell.edu.