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Accomplished professor of music joins performing arts department


Accomplished professor of music joins performing arts department

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College, a leading liberal arts college in northwest Pennsylvania, announces that Julie Neish, D.M.A., has been appointed to the Department of Performing Arts as director of choral activities and assistant professor of music.

Neish will lead the Thiel Choir, and the Thiel College Handbell Ringers, as well as teach music courses at the College.

Neish is a versatile conductor, music director, and pianist. Before coming to Thiel College, she was professor of music and music department coordinator at Northland Pioneer College and directed numerous ensembles at Arizona State University and George Mason University. In March 2017, she conducted the U.S. premiere performance of “Songs of Innocence,” a suite by Donald Patriquin, with the composer present to introduce the composition. She will be traveling to Singapore this August to present a workshop entitled “Color-tone Dramas: Perceiving Color as Sound and Sound as Color” at the international Voice and Speech Trainers Association conference. Conducting and piano engagements have taken her to Mexico (University of Veracruz), Italy (Sarteano, Perugia, Umbria, and Todi), and Spain (Barcelona, Granada, Toledo, Valencia, and Montserrat Abbey), and she has performed at the Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, the historic Library of Congress stage in Washington, D.C., and Carnegie Hall.

Neish has been an assistant director and accompanist for the National Philharmonic Chorale in Maryland, the Georgetown Chorale in Washington, D.C., the Arizona State University Chamber Singers, the George Mason University Singers, and the Phoenix Girls Chorus. She has also worked as an accompanist/vocal coach/chorus master for the George Mason University Opera Theater and the Arizona State University Lyric Opera Theatre. Neish enjoys musical theater and has been the pianist or musical director for more than 40 productions in five different states. As an invited pianist, she has performed Tchaikovsky’s and Prokofiev’s versions of “Romeo and Juliet” with the Capital City Symphony in Washington, D.C., and Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty” with the Triangle Youth Ballet Orchestra in North Carolina. Neish is also an accomplished lighting designer and electrician, with experience designing for Disney World and other dance, opera, and theater companies.

She replaces Emeritus Professor of Performing Arts Michael Bray, D.M.A., who retired in May after 21 years at the College. Neish is the seventh conductor of the Thiel Choir since its founding in 1953.

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Thiel College is a private liberal arts institution founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2016 and remains committed to combining tradition with innovation.

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