Gary R. Schwartzhoff, Artistic Director and Founding Conductor
Gary R. Schwartzhoff, Professor Emeritus, served as the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire from 1991 to 2016. In addition to Wisconsin, he taught choral music in Iowa and Missouri during his career. Schwartzhoff received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Central College in Pella, Iowa, a Master of Music Degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa and a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Conducting at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, Missouri.
In 2017-2018, Schwartzhoff marks his forty-fourth year as a music educator. He has been active throughout his professional career in the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and Intercollegiate Male Choruses (IMC). In ACDA, he served as President of the North Central Division from 1992-94 and served as a member of the IMC Executive Board from 1993-2016. The Wisconsin Choral Directors Association (WCDA) presented him the Outstanding Church Musician Award in 2007 and the Morris Hayes Award for lifetime achievement in the choral art in 2010. Schwartzhoff has presented choirs on over thirty conventions before the state, divisional and national levels of ACDA, IMC and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). Schwartzhoff has conducted national choral festivals honoring former Presidents of the United States in Washington D.C. in 2009 (Lincoln), 2013 (JFK) and 2016 (FDR). In 2018, Schwartzhoff will be presented the Marshall Bartholomew Award by IMC in Washington D.C. The award is in honor of conductors who have made significant contributions to the field of male chorus music. In 2019, Schwartzhoff will conduct the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and the Liberation of France Choral Festival in Paris, France.
Schwartzhoff conducts The Master Singers in Eau Claire and serves as Director of Music at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Eau Claire, where he conducts the Chancel Choir. Gary is married to Nancy Schwartzhoff and they have two daughters, Jenifer Morgan (Jerry), and Rebecca Johnson (Andy), and grandchildren Brady, Alex, Anna, Emma, and Clare.