Artistic Staff

Vince Peterson – Artistic Director director@empirecitymenschorus.org

Vince Peterson is an award-winning conductor, composer, keyboardist, and the Founder of Choral Chameleon, and Chameleonic in New York City.  He also serves as Choirmaster and Organist of St. Paul’s Carroll Street in Brooklyn, Artistic Director of Empire City Men’s Chorus, and Director of Music at Regis High School

He is sought after as composer and arranger, conductor, keyboardist, and clinician. His work has been commissioned and performed by reputable ensembles internationally, including Ensemble Companio, Cantori New York, The San Francisco Arts Education Project, Ars Musica, Grace Chorale of Brooklyn, Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, and the multi-Grammy® Award-winning ensemble, Chanticleer, who have performed his it in such venues as Chicago Symphony Hall, San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House, Bartok National Concert Hall in Budapest, and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others. 

In 2014, he led the men of Empire City Men’s Chorus in a performance of his arrangement of John Legend’s “All of Me” at Carnegie Hall with the legendary singer, Martha Wash.  His arrangement of Tom Waits’ song “Temptation,” incorporating motives from Gershwin’s “Summertime” was called “…hard to top” by The San Francisco Chronicle and was performed live by Chanticleer on Garrison Keillor’s program, “A Prairie Home Companion.” His children’s musical “Sticks and Stones” (written with Broadway assistant director and choreographer, Joe Barros) has been workshopped three times and continues in its development.

An avid champion of new choral and theater music, Peterson is responsible for commissioning and premiering over 100 new works to date.  In 2010, he founded an annual Institute for composers and conductors of choral music, which takes place yearly in June, and offers students the opportunity to bring new works to life via the voices of Choral Chameleon singers. Under his leadership, Choral Chameleon won the 2015 ASCAP / Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming. He also works to develop the choral arts community in New York as Programs Coordinator on the Board of Directors of The New York Choral Consortium.

Peterson holds a BMus in Composition from San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he was a pupil of the late celebrated composer, Conrad Susa; as well as a Double MMus in Composition and Choral Conducting from Mannes College, The New School for Music in Manhattan, where he studied with the new music pioneer conductor, Mark Shapiro.  The New York Times called Peterson "authoritative beyond his… years," and The Brooklyn Eagle praised his work as "a stunning symphony of the spiritual and secular," while hailing him as a solo performer "with depth and vigor" who "provided a universal context which resonated with his audience.”

SEAN FORTE – ASSISTANT DIRECTOR & ACCOMPANIST

Sean has been a pianist since he started taking lessons at 10 years old. He then continued at the University of the Pacific's Conservatory of Music where he studied with Frank Wiens, Dr. Rex Cooper, and Dr. Sonia Leung. He also extensively studied conducting, voice, diction, and acting through song while at college. He graduated in 2010 with his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance magna cum laude. After living in San Francisco for 3 years teaching, musical directing shows, and performing, he packed up his life and moved across the country to New York City to pursue a career in musical direction for musical theater. He's been in the city for two years and is thankful for the opportunities that New York has offered him, including working with the Empire City Men's Chorus. Credits include: BroadwayA Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder (Rehearsal pianist). Royal Caribbean Productions (Pianist/Conductor for Cats). Regional: La Cage aux Folles, Seussical, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Cinderella, Sweeney Todd, Rent, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Nine. 

KYLE RANDALL – COMPOSER-IN-RESIDENCE

Kyle Randall is an internationally performed composer of a wide variety of music, currently living in San Francisco, California. Born and raised in the forests of New Hampshire, he began his composition career in front of the piano at age ten and has composed prolifically ever since, writing in a wide variety of genres encompassing concert music, film scores, dance suites, musical theater, electronic dance music, jazz, and alternative rock.

In all of his music, Kyle strives for vividness and sincerity. His work often evokes strong notions of color, motion, and space, and he uses these to create compelling pieces that exist in their own worlds, each with their own character and a strong sense of place. Listeners have commented on Kyle's directness and clarity of expression, and appreciate his willingness to draw on the past as well as the present in his writing. In many ways, he represents a new generation of 21st Century composers who value a fresh expressionism in their music and who do not feel bound to intellectually justify every artistic decision they make, nor to subscribe to any historically-dictated philosophy. Instead, he chooses to draw on whichever influences a piece may call for, and writes music tailored for anyone who might decide to listen.

Kyle's compositions have been performed across the country and abroad, in such renowned venues as Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium, La Schola Cantorum in Paris, the Oregon Bach Festival, and Harvard's Memorial Hall. He has worked with prominent groups such as Choral Chameleon and the Harvard Glee Club, as well as influential conductors including Matthew Oltman, Craig Hella Johnson, and Vince Peterson. Kyle's awards include the Francis Boott Prize for Choral Composition and a John Knowles Paine Fellowship at Harvard, a finalist position for the ASCAP Morton Gould award, first prize in San Francisco Conservatory's biennial art song competition, and he is currently a finalist for the prestigious American Prize in composition for the Kyrie of his recent New Gothic Mass.

After studying at Phillips Exeter Academy, Kyle received a Bachelor's in Music from Harvard University, where he studied composition with Chaya Czernowin, Hans Tutschku, and Richard Beaudoin. He has also attended summer programs including the Choral Chameleon Composer's Workshop, the European American Musical Alliance composition program, and the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium, studying with David Conte, Vince Peterson, Philip Lasser, and Robert Kyr. He has a Masters degree in composition from San Francisco Conservatory, where he studied with David Garner, and has since studied additionally with prominent media industry composers Lennie Moore, Clint Bajakian, Dren McDonald, and Austin Wintory. Currently, Kyle is composer-in-residence for the Empire City Men's Chorus, and will write three new pieces for them over the course of the chorus' 2015-2016 season. www.kylerandall.com