Wednesday, December 29, 2010


  (St. Louis) – The St. Louis Symphony today announced the appointment of Kevin McBeth as the Director of the IN UNISON® Chorus, effective January 1, 2011. He will conduct the chorus and orchestra for the “Lift Every Voice” Black History Month Celebration concert on February 18, 2011. McBeth succeeds the founder of the IN UNISON® Chorus, Dr. Robert Ray, who after 15 years, retired at the end of last season.

Following an extensive and collaborative search process that involved the IN UNISON® Chorus Advisory Committee, President and CEO Fred Bronstein, Music Director David Robertson and Vice President of Artistic Administration Bret Dorhout, McBeth emerged as the unanimous choice.

Kevin McBeth, Director of the IN UNISON® Chorus: “I've been a fan of the entire St. Louis Symphony organization since my arrival 15 years ago. I look forward to an incredible future with the IN UNISON® Chorus. It is a tremendous honor and privilege to be chosen. With just a few weeks before our first concert, I'm very eager to get started.”

Fred Bronstein, President and CEO of the St. Louis Symphony: “We are delighted with the appointment of Kevin McBeth as Director of the IN UNISON® Chorus. This past year, the Chorus celebrated a wonderful 15-year history since its founding by Dr. Robert Ray. With Dr. Ray's retirement, we knew that there were big shoes to fill. I'm convinced we have found exactly the right person. The appointment of Kevin McBeth signals the next chapter in the history of this very special group. With Kevin, the IN UNISON® Chorus is in very good hands.”

Harry Moppins, IN UNISON® Chorus Advisory Committee: "As a 13 year member of the IN UNISON® Chorus, I am very excited to welcome our new musical director, Kevin McBeth. I am optimistic that Kevin will be a great leader and is the perfect next step in the evolution of the Chorus."

David Robertson, Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony: “I was delighted that Kevin and I share a creative vision for the future of the IN UNISON® Chorus, and together we look forward to building upon the amazing work already done by Robert Ray.”

Lift Every Voice: Black History Month Celebration
Friday, February 18, 2011 at 7:30pm

Kevin McBeth, conductor
St. Louis Symphony IN UNISON® Chorus

An annual celebration with the St. Louis Symphony In Unison® Chorus and the St. Louis Symphony.

Tickets are available now at the Powell Hall Box Office, online at, or by phone at 314.534.1700.

Kevin McBeth is the Director of Music at Manchester United Methodist Church in suburban St. Louis. He serves as full-time administrator for the Music Ministry, which includes 18 choral and handbell ensembles, involving nearly 500 children, youth and adults. Kevin has also recently served as Adjunct Professor in Choral Music at Webster University. Over the past 20 years, he has conducted honor, festival and touring choirs (choral and handbell) in the United States and Canada. Previous appointments include Assistant Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus and Music Director of the St. Louis Metro Singers. His 30-year career in church music has included appointments in churches in Houston, Texas and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
McBeth is a graduate of Houston Baptist University, and has done graduate studies in Choral Conducting at the University of Houston. In addition to being a published composer and author, he was also choral music editor for Abingdon Press. McBeth has served on the board of the Iowa Choral Directors Association (ICDA), the Missouri Choral Directors Association (MCDA), and the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers (AGEHR). He was also the Repertoire and Standards Chair for the Southwest Division of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). A strong advocate for training future conductors, he has presented several workshops and interest sessions at the state and national levels.
McBeth has recently conducted concerts at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Choirs under his direction have also performed at regional and national gatherings for choral and handbell music, including both state and division ACDA conventions, and at the American International Choral Festival. Mr. McBeth has prepared choruses for performances with Sarah Brightman, Josh Groban, John McDaniel, Andy Williams, Billy Porter and Hugh Smith. He also conducted the chorus for the opening ceremonies of the 2001 St. Louis Thanksgiving Day Parade. In the fall of 2002, the National Religious Music Week Alliance named him as one of the top ten Church Music Directors in the country. In the church music field, he has collaborated with Mark Hayes, John Leavitt, Hal Hopson, Joseph Martin, Howard Helvey, John Purifoy, Michael Burkhardt and Craig Courtney.
His orchestral conducting credits include performances with the Houston Civic Symphony, the New England Symphonic Ensemble and with members of the St. Louis Symphony in a concert featuring Garrison Keillor. In the summer of 2005, he conducted a Festival Chorus in his first European concert tour to Great Britain. Upcoming engagements include choral festivals in Missouri and Texas, as well as a return to Carnegie Hall.

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