Musical Notes with Dr. Kyle Zeuch
With an inclination toward music, a mom who taught elementary school, and a church background to hone his skills, Kyle Zeuch knew early on that teaching music was an obvious career path.
As Zeuch begins his second year as the director of choral activities and an assistant professor of music, he shared some exciting plans and the features that attracted him to Lebanon Valley College.
What excited you about the opportunity at LVC?
My LVC position includes making music through choirs and helping our students make music through music education and conducting classes. In my eyes, this is the perfect combination. Additionally, when I learned about the strong band and orchestra programs at LVC, I knew that this school had it going on musically! When I came to campus and met the caring students and inviting faculty, it sealed the deal for me.
What are some of the experiences for the choirs that you would like to implement or implemented in your first year?
One exciting thing that happened last year was the start of an ongoing collaboration with the orchestra program. We had string players perform in our Homecoming concert, and the Chamber Orchestra performed at Christmas at The Valley. In the spring, the Chamber Orchestra performed Vivaldi’s “Gloria” with the College Choir, and all the choirs joined the Symphony Orchestra to perform excerpts from Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus.” These collaborations with Dr. [Johannes] Dietrich [director of the Symphony Orchestra] and the orchestra members enhance our performances and gives our students incredible experiences.
We have some exciting things in the mix for 2019–2020. The Chamber Choir was invited to sing at Carnegie Hall during spring break. We will also take our annual Concert Choir tour in March at a location to be determined. The Concert Choir (along with MANY other area choirs) will also sing Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9” with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra to help them celebrate 90 years!
One of my long-term goals is to build off the choirs’ successful performance at the 2019 Symposium for Inclusive Excellence. My dream would be to create a “Justice Choir” that sings at marches and other events. Justice Choir is a national movement that encourages choirs to bring people together in song. I hope we can once again perform at the College’s Symposium, and turn it into something bigger in the future!
What was your reaction to the number of non-music majors at LVC who participate in the choirs and other music ensembles?
It’s always wonderful to have non-music majors in our ensembles. It helps them find respite to make good music while studying their other passions. At LVC, it’s possible to do many different things. All too often at other colleges, students can’t fit music in their schedules. Not here—everyone is welcome!
What about your responsibilities as director of the Harrisburg Choral Society?
The Harrisburg Choral Society has been around for 125 years, and it is very exciting to join that long-standing heritage of choral singing. I am their new music director, which means I lead the artistic vision of the ensemble, choose music, schedule performances, teach, and conduct the ensemble. The ensemble often performs large works with orchestras in the greater Harrisburg area. This year we will sing Handel’s “Messiah,” Finzi’s “In Terra Pax,” Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms,” Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9,” and selections from Mendelssohn’s “Elijah.” I anticipate MANY future collaborations between LVC choirs and the Harrisburg Choral Society.