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VAPA | Music


Deborah Chandler is the Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Conducting at the University of Louisiana Monroe. She conducts the Chamber Singers, Concert Choir, and University Chorale. Dr. Chandler teaches choral literature, advanced conducting and is professor of graduate conducting for the summer Masters of Music Education program. She also serves as orchestral conductor for the yearly operas and musicals at ULM.

In 2005, Dr. Chandler founded the Bayou Masterworks Chorale (formerly Monroe Symphony Chorus) and serves as artistic director and conductor. She produces and hosts a weekly radio show, “Vocal Vibes” on KEDM public radio and serves as Minister of Music at Northminster Church in Monroe.

Dr. Chandler received her Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education/Conducting at Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fl. where she also received her Master of Music Education. For eighteen years, she served as Minister of Music in the Presbyterian Church (USA). In Tallahassee, she taught music history and directed the Tallahassee Civic Chorale at Tallahassee Community College and was given the status of Conductor Emeritus in 2004.

In Florida, Dr. Chandler received the Guardian Ad Litem Exemplary Service Award, and was presented the Corinne Holleman Gridley Award for Achievement in the Arts. At Florida State University, a music scholarship was established anonymously in her name to assist undergraduate conducting students.

In 2003, Dr. Chandler was chosen as one of ten conductors, selected internationally, to study with German conductor, Helmuth Rilling, at the Oregon Bach Festival. The next year, she was selected by Maestro Rilling to conduct at the first Toronto Bach Festival.

While teaching at ULM, Dr. Chandler has been awarded the Excellence in Teaching awarded by CenturyLink Inc., the Outstanding Service Award to the Arts Award for Northeast Louisiana by the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council and the University of Louisiana Monroe Foundation Award for Excellence in Creative and Artistic Activity. She is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, Music Educators National Conference, Pi Kappa Lambda, Alpha Chi Honor Society, and an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Phi and Tau Beta Sigma.

Dr. Chandler remains active as a clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator, most recently in North Carolina, Florida, Texas and Virginia. In 2017, Dr. Chandler made her debut at Carnegie Hall conducting a 125 voice choir and the New England Chamber Orchestra. In 2018, she was guest conductor in Syros, Greece for Mid-Am International and will return in July 2022 as a guest conductor.

Dr. Chandler enjoys living in Monroe and loves working in the yard, woodworking, reading, traveling, fishing and being a mom to her eight year old daughter, Olivia.