Joseph Hugh Thomas Professor of Music
Chair, Department of Music
Hill Hall 114
900 Arkadelphia Rd
Birmingham, AL 35254
Office Phone: (205) 226-4957
Office Fax: (205) 226 3058
Lester Seigel's work as a conductor has been internationally noted for his choir's "seamless phrasing and sensitive blending" and "wonderfully exuberant and euphonious" sound (Gramophone, July 2010). His busy schedule of performances as a conductor and accompanist includes prestigious venues throughout the United States and abroad. His select vocal ensemble Sursum Corda performed in March 2011 at the national conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Chicago and he has led the BSC Concert Choir in concert at prestigious venues throughout the eastern United States and in Europe, including the choir’s New York performance at Alice Tully Hall.
In Birmingham, this season includes the 75th Anniversary of the College’s Service of Lessons and Carols, featuring a commemorative commission by renowned composer Eric Whitacre, for the BSC Choirs. Sursum Corda will be presented in a concert of “singers’ favorites” in honor of that group’s fifth anniversary. As a chamber music performer and recitalist, he will appear on the Alabama Symphony Orchestra’s “Concertmaster and Friends” series in a program commemorating anniversaries of Franz Liszt and Gustav Mahler in November, also featuring his son, baritone Daniel Seigel, with whom he often collaborates in recital.
Prof. Seigel spent the spring term 2010 on sabbatical leave, conducting research on the choral music and hymnody of the American Reform Synagogue of the turn of the 20th century. As part of his research, he was awarded the Davis Fellowship for study at the Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, part of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, where he spent a month in residency and presented a lecture on his work. While on sabbatical Seigel appeared as conductor of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro in the acclaimed production by Opera Birmingham, featuring the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, in March 2010.
In addition to his work at BSC and with Sursum Corda, Seigel recently completed his 21st year on staff at Canterbury United Methodist Church in Mountain Brook, where he is Choirmaster/Organist. He holds the AAGO certificate from the American Guild of Organists, and his choral music is published by Oxford University Press.
D.M.A., University of Colorado, 1993
M.M., University of Colorado, 1983
B.M., Birmingham-Southern College, 1979
Areas of Academic Interest:
- Choral Music
- Conducting (choral, orchestral, opera)
- Chamber Music, especially literature for the Piano Trio Aesthetics of Music Opera Liturgical Music of the Synagogue, with emphasis on the Reform traditions of the late 19th-early 20th centuries
HON 125: America's Music (1)
Explores the unique qualities of American music and the contributions of American musicians to the world. Focusing but not limited to the genres of classical music and jazz, interconnections between America and other countries are emphasized, along with complementary readings in American literature, philosophy and other art forms.
MU 211 Concert Choir (1/4)
A mixed-voice ensemble that presents performances on-campus, records and tours regionally each year, and nationally and internationally frequently, and often performs major works with orchestra in local performances. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: consent.
MU 252: Theory of Early Twentieth-Century Music
A continuation of Advanced Theory I, with emphasis on twentieth-century compositional techniques. Prerequisites: MU 251 and enrollment in MU 156 and 162. Spring.
MU 271: Beginning Conducting
MU 371: Advanced Conducting
Designed to teach the student majoring in music how to train ensembles, to read scores, and to conduct efficient rehearsals. May be repeated for credit (a Leadership Studies designated course). Prerequisite: MU 251. Fall.
MU 455: Orchestration
Advanced study and practice of music composition. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: MU 355. Fall, Spring.