ARTISTIC TEAM

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Dr. Bryson Mortensen

Artistic Director

    Dr. Bryson Mortensen is Associate Professor of Music, Chair of the Fine and Performing Arts Department, and Director of Choral Studies at Virginia Wesleyan University, where he conducts three choirs and teaches courses in Music Education and Music History.
 
     Dr.  Mortensen joined the Virginal Choral Society in 2019. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting and Performance Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before his time in Virginia, Dr. Mortensen was the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Wisconsin-Rock County, Artistic Director of the Festival Choir of Madison, and Chorus Master of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Chorus.
 

     Dr. Mortensen is a sought-after guest-conductor for festival choruses and district choruses across the country. He conducted the Virginia Chorale, the Young Singers Project, which was the subject of a recent PBS Documentary and Emmy-Nominated feature on the arts series, “Curate.” Dr. Mortensen had his debut conducting engagement at Carnegie Hall with MidAmerica Productions in 2019, where he conducted a festival chorus of over 125 singers and orchestra.


     Dr. Mortensen believes in the power of choral music to give us the opportunity to explore the human experience through the eyes of both poet and composer and to change the lives of both singer and audience for the better.

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Diane Meier Drury

Assistant Artistic Director / Chorus Accompanist

     Diane Meier Drury started with us in 2005 as the Assistant Musical Director/Chorus Accompanist with the Virginia Choral Society .  She is the Director of Music Ministries at Hidenwood Presbyterian Church in Newport News, and teaches Music in Society and Piano at Virginia Peninsula Community College. She also works as a freelance accompanist and music teacher.  Mrs. Drury holds both the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Organ Performance from Westminster Choir College, where she studied organ with Joan Lippincott and Eugene Roan, and conducting with Frauke Haasemann and Allen Crowell.  As accompanist to the Westminster Oratorio Choir, she was privileged to work with noted Haydn scholar, H. C. Robbins Landon, and jazz musician Dave Brubeck. Mrs.Drury also studied organ with Marie-Claire Alain at the Conservatoire National de Région in Rueil-Malmaison, France, and has given numerous recitals as both solo artist and accompanist.

     Mrs. Drury has served as Organist/Choir Director, Preschool, Elementary and Middle School Music Teacher, and College Music History Instructor in churches and schools in Virginia, Arkansas, Ohio, New Jersey, and Paris, France and has had articles published in The American Organist and the Chorister Guild Letters.