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Lee R. Kesselman


Lee R. Kesselman is best known as a composer of vocal works, including opera, music for chorus, chamber music and solo songs.

Lee R. Kesselman, born in Milwaukee in 1951, has been Director of Choral Activities at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois since 1981; he was named Outstanding Faculty Member at the College for 1994–1995. Kesselman, who holds undergraduate degrees in piano and composition from Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota and a master’s degree in conducting from the University of Southern California, is the founder and Music Director of the New Classic Singers, a professional choral ensemble, and directs the DuPage Chorale and College of DuPage Chamber Singers. He has also taught at Doreen Rao’s Choral Music Experience Institute in Chicago since its inception in 1986, served on the faculty of the Académie International de Chant Choral in Parthenay, France for two summers, and addressed state and divisional conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. In addition, Kesselman performs as a pianist, accompanying many of Chicago’s finest singers in recital and appearing on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts and the Live! From Studio One series on WFMT-FM. As a conductor, he serves as music director for a variety of local opera and musical theater productions, including conducting Dominick Argento’s Postcard from Morocco for Opera-Works! in Madison, Wisconsin.

As a composer, Lee Kesselman is best known for his vocal works, which include operas (The Bremen Town Musicians and The Emperor’s New Clothes), music for chorus, and solo songs. His works for children have brought him national attention — The Bremen Town Musicians has been performed over 300 times—and commissions to write for school and university choirs as well as community, church, and professional ensembles. His distinctions include annual ASCAP Awards since 1994 and prizes in the Melodious Accord Composition Search (New York), Chautauqua Chamber Singers Composition Contest, Chautauqua Children’s Chorale Composition Contest, and Illinois Choral Directors’ Association Contest.