The Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts and the Richmond Symphony have announced the creation of the new joint position of director of choral activities at VCU and director of the Richmond Symphony Chorus. The position is being piloted as a one-year, non-tenured faculty appointment for the 2014-2015 academic year.
Pending final approval, Erin R. Freeman, D.M.A., current director of the Richmond Symphony Chorus and holder of the James Erb Choral Chair at the Richmond Symphony, will be named initially to the new joint position, which carries a faculty rank of assistant professor in the VCU School of the Arts Department of Music.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the VCU music department,” Freeman said. “Through my work with the Richmond Symphony, I have had the honor of getting to know and work with the faculty on several occasions. I am pleased to become their academic colleague in the fall.”
The VCU School of the Arts is consistently ranked as one of the top graduate arts schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Darryl V. Harper, chair of the Department of Music in the VCU School of the Arts, said he’s excited about the possibilities created by the new position.
“We are delighted that Dr. Freeman will be lending her formidable talents to the VCU community, and we are excited about the potential of this new collaboration with RSO,” Harper said.
Following Freeman’s tenure as associate conductor of the Richmond Symphony, the new position allows her to continue to contribute significantly to the musical life of the region and to play a major role in the education of young singers in the commonwealth.
“I am thrilled that Erin will be continuing her exceptionally fine work with the RSO Chorus, as well as becoming a leader in this heightened collaboration with VCU,” said RSO Music Director Steven Smith.
RSO Executive Director David Fisk said the partnership marks an important milestone in the long relationship between VCU School of the Arts and the Richmond Symphony, and Freeman’s participation offers both organizations an opportunity to do more together than either institution could accomplish alone.
“We are excited that Erin has agreed to accept this position and continue her commitment to building community and inspiring audiences in Richmond and beyond,” Fisk said.