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Meet the Director

 

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Adrian G. Horn, Director of the Finger Lakes Choral Festival, has had a lifetime of involvement in virtually every aspect of choral music. He sang with Robert Shaw for two years while still in high school, interrupted his musical training by serving as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division to secure the GI bill for college, received a BS in vocal performance at SUNY Fredonia (where he was Captain of the baseball team and also played semi-pro football with the Fredonia Orioles) and a Masters Degree specializing in Choral Music from Columbia University, where he concurrently was employed an Instructor in Music Education. After teaching public school music for two years, Mr. Horn entered the Navy and was appointed Director of the Naval Aviation Cadet Choir while undergoing training as a Naval Aviation Officer.

After completing his tour of duty, Mr. Horn became a professional chorister with the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera. Subsequently, he entered the doctoral program at Columbia University, but was sidetracked from completing a thesis on developing community choruses by the priority of putting his ideas into action. What followed was a remarkable adventure of choral activities, including:

  •  Founding Director, San Francisco City Chorus, for which he was awarded the Certificate of Honor of the City of San Francisco for bringing great music to the people of the city
  •  Director, Olympic Athletic Club of San Francisco Men's Chorus
  •  Founding Director, Women's Chorus of San Francisco
  •  Director, San Francisco State University Chorus, where he built the chorus from 35 to 225 members in five semesters
  •  Founding Director, San Francisco Festival of Carols
  •  Founding Director, San Francisco Choral Society, a 250 voice symphonic chorus, regularly performing before sold-out houses at Davies Symphony Hall
As a conductor, Mr. Horn has an extraordinary ability to inspire singers to bring passion and meaning to their music. Singers stay on their toes because they don't want to miss any of his colorful comments or unique musical insights. At one rehearsal, before a chorus and orchestra of nearly 500 performing the Berlioz Requiem* at the cavernous San Francisco Civic Auditorium he quipped, "All I wanted to do was get some people together to sing, and the whole thing got totally out of hand."

At the height of his success with the San Francisco Choral Society, after conducting three sold-out performances of Carmina Burana at Davies Symphony Hall in October 1992, Mr. Horn left San Francisco to pursue perhaps his most challenging career, stay-at-home-Dad. But music always seemed to follow, as did the Directorship of the Sequim Community Chorus in Washington, and after relocating to New York, the Jamestown Choral Society.  The Finger Lakes Choral Festival, now entering its eleventh season, is the current focus of Mr. Horn's life-long obsession with bringing people together to sing great choral music.

*Berlioz Requiem Redux.  In August 2012, Mr. Horn organized and presented a performance of the Berlioz Requiem at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, combining 300 singers and musicians from New York and San Francisco, hailed by San Francisco Classical Voice as the "Mega-Concert of the Year -- or years, and that it "Exceeded all expectations."   The performance used a new edition of the Requiem created by Mr. Horn which added an alto part to the score.  Berlioz' original score was written for soprano, tenor and bass only.

     
     

Meet the Soloists

Meet the Accompanists
 

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Dr. Ines Draskovic has performed throughout Europe and United States. she is a graduate of University of Belgrade (Belgrade, Yugoslavia), Ithaca College (MM) and Eastman School of Music (DMA). Her teachers include Alexei Nasedkin, Phiroze Mehta and Rebecca Penneys. Dr. Draskovic has won several piano competitions, including the Ithaca College Concerto Competition, Republic of Serbia Piano Competition and Piano Competition in Stresa, Italy, where she was a finalist. She has participated in festivals and masterclasses in Europe and United States (Colorado). Formerly a faculty member at Ithaca College, Dr. Draskovic is currently teaching at the Finger Lakes Community College in Canandaigua, NY. In addition to her solo career, she performs regularly with the Finger Lakes Chorale and College Singers.

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Dr. Susan J. Avery, Associate Professor of Music Education at Ithaca College, was the former director of vocal ensembles and department chair of Waterloo High School for 24 years. She received her BM from the Eastman School of Music, MM from Ithaca College and a PhD from Eastman, where she was awarded the Eastman Graduate Teaching Assistant Prize for excellence in college teaching. Dr. Avery conducts elementary, junior high and senior high honors, All-County and Area All-State Choruses throughout New York State; judges solo vocal and All-State Vocal Jazz as well as choral major organizations for the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA); and gives clinics and workshops on the local, state and national levels in the field of music education. While teaching at Waterloo, her men's ensemble Just Us was chosen to be the opening performing ensemble at the New York State School Boards Association's state convention. Dr. Avery's choral ensembles consistently received high awards at festivals and her students participated in all levels of local, state and national ensembles.

She currently conducts the Seneca Singers (an adult choir in her hometown of Seneca Falls) and directs the faculty-staff choir voICes on the Ithaca College Campus in addition to her teaching duties. Dr. Avery accompanies the summer conference Director’s Chorus and reading sessions and has served NYSSMA as Piano Chair, High School Classroom Chair, Assistant Choral Chair; and the Choral Chair for New York State. Susan is currently the Eastern Division Chair for the Music Educator’s National Conference (MENC) Adult and Community Music Education special research interest group (SRIG). Her research on adult rehearsal preferences was presented at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Lifelong Learning Symposium in April 2005 and two posters sessions (for original research/best practice) were given at Society of Music Teacher Education in September 2005. Susan provided choral experiences to adults in the New Horizons Band Camp at Interlochen in summer of 2006. She has published in American Music Teacher, The School Music News, Music Educators’ Journal and contributed to MENC’s Benchmarks in Action: A Guide to Standards-Based Assessment in Music.