Scott Alan Youngs is the Artistic Director of the Arizona Bach Festival, the Director of Music for All Saints’ Episcopal Church and Day School, and adjunct faculty at Arizona State University. As Director of Music for All Saints’ Episcopal Church, he conducts the Chamber Choir, the Senior Choir, the Women’s Chant Choir, and the Boy and Girl Choristers of the Day School. He is also the principal organist. As a pianist and organist, he has appeared in recital throughout Western Europe, the United States, and South America. As choral conductor, he has toured with his choirs in England, Wales, Ireland, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany and Russia. He recently performed in Carnegie Hall on MidAmerica Productions’ 34th Season. Following are his thoughts on conducting in the historic hall:
MAP: How did you hear about MidAmerica Productions?
Scott: The Choristers of All Saints’ Episcopal Day School were invited to sing in a MidAmerica Production at the recommendation of another local conductor. We were aware of the fine programs offered, having seen them advertised, but had not participated previously. Receiving an invitation spurred us on toward our first performance with MidAmerica. We have since joined them for performances by Choristers of the Day School and adults from All Saints’ Episcopal Church.
MAP: Why do you think the MidAmerica Experience is important?
Scott: A common goal is a noble thing. Having a performance with guest conductor in a workshop setting, with other choirs, and in a venue as august as Carnegie Hall is a great inspiration for singers of all ages. It always raises the level of investment and focus, and raises the level of performance not only for that one concert, but for their achievements across the board. It is a fantastic challenge, and one that always brings out the best in singers.
MAP: What was the main musical experience that your performers took away from their residency in NYC, which culminated in their Carnegie Hall performance?
Scott: The opportunity to perform repertoire larger than we could in our own setting gives our singers a unique musical experience. While chamber orchestra works are within our normal experience at home, the works with full orchestra are experienced only in a setting such as this. It is thrilling to be able to perform works with these large forces. Joining other singers also provides that all-important sense of competition and comparison. It spurs singers on to higher expectations of themselves and others. Hearing the words of another conductor, that so often mirror the statements heard at home, reaffirms each choir’s own conductor.
MAP: As music director, what was the most memorable personal experience you took away after this residency?
Scott: As a conductor, I feel a great responsibility as an educator. If you pick up the baton, you are obliged to educate, inspire, and enable the musicians in your charge to create something greater than they could as individual performers. Each conductor that we have worked with in our MidAmerica experiences has done just that. The level of knowledge, expertise and passion has provided an experience for our musicians that will be remembered for a lifetime. The works chosen, the forces engaged, and the direction throughout the rehearsals and performance have always been superb. Each performance with MidAmerica has been a passionate and inspiring experience for all involved.
Over the past 34 years, MidAmerica Productions has produced over 1300 concerts in Carnegie Hall and at historic halls all over the world. To have your ensemble perform in Carnegie Hall or internationally, call us at 212-239-0205 or visit us at www.midamerica-music.com.