Ralph Frederick Stannard
Ralph Stannard has been artistic director and conductor of the Plano Civic Chorus since 2000. He is also director of music at First Presbyterian Church in Richardson, where he directs both the adult and youth choirs. Mr. Stannard has held similar positions at St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church in Irving, Munger Place United Methodist Church in Dallas, and at Bethel Temple in Oak Cliff. Since 1999 he has also been the choir director for Temple Emanu-El in Dallas and has conducted the Temple Choir in several programs of important Jewish concert and liturgical music. For thirteen years he also served as conductor for special performances for the Dallas Symphony Chorus.
Mr. Stannard has conducted many of the great masterworks, including Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Magnificat, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Brahms’ Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Lobgesang, Cherubini’s Requiem, Bloch’s Sacred Service, the requiems of Faure and Durufle, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle. In many collaborations with Maestro Hector Guzman, conductor for the Plano Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Stannard has prepared the Plano Civic Chorus for performances of Verdi’s Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Choral Fantasy, Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and for the annual Christmas pops concerts.
Mr. Stannard has led several successful choir tours through Europe. In 2002 he directed the combined choirs of the First Presbyterian Church, Temple Emanu-El, and the Plano Civic Chorus in concerts throughout the British Isles, and in 2005 took a similar group to the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Austria. In 2008, a tour to Italy and France included the Plano Civic Chorus and the choirs from First Presbyterian Church and St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Plano. Under Mr. Stannard’s direction, the combined choirs performed in St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice and in Notre Dame Cathedral and La Madeleine church in Paris. In 2011, he conducted the chorus in performances in Berlin, Wittenberg, Munich and Florence. And most recently, in 2014’s tour to Spain and France, he directed the Plano Civic Chorus in a performance at Barcelona’s famed basilica, Sagrada Familia. Only a few choirs are selected each year to perform at the basilica. The chorus was also honored with an invitation to perform once again at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
A lyric baritone and voice student of Grant Williams, Mr. Stannard has performed as soloist in several oratorios throughout North Texas and in performances with the Dallas Opera Chorus, The Denton Bach Society and the Deep Ellum Opera Theater. He received an undergraduate degree in music theory and composition from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in instrumental education from the University of North Texas, and has completed three years of post-graduate work towards a PhD in music education at UNT. He has studied orchestral conducting with Kate Tamarkin, band conducting with Robert Winslow, choral techniques with Frank McKinley, Henry Gibbons, and David R. Davidson, and Synagogue music with Simon Sargon.
Mr. Stannard is an active member of TCDA (Texas Choral Directors Association), ACDA (American Choral Directors Association, GTM (Guild of Temple Musicians) and PAM (Presbyterian Association of Musicians).
For more information about the chorus, email Mr. Stannard.