Dr. Bryson Mortensen is Assistant Professor of Music, Co-Chair of the Music Department, and Director of Choral Studies at Virginia Wesleyan University, where he conducts three choirs and teaches courses in Music Education and Music History. The 2019 – 2020 Season, will be Dr. Mortensen’s first with the Virginal Choral Society. Dr. Mortensen has received a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Brigham Young University and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting and Performance Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Previous to his time at Virginia Wesleyan University, Dr. Mortensen was the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Wisconsin-Rock County, Artistic Director of the Festival Choir of Madison, and Chorus Master of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.
Dr. Mortensen has performed as a vocalist with professional and semi-professional choruses and has performed as soloist in a variety of oratorios – including Handel’s Messiah, a variety of J.S. Bach Cantatas, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Carissimi’s Jepthe.
Dr. Mortensen is a sought after guest-conductor for festival choruses and district choruses across the country. Most recently, Dr. Mortensen has conducted the Young Singers Project of the Virginia Chorale, which has been a subject of the recent PBS Documentary #youngsingersproject (June 2018) and the Emmy-Nominated feature on the arts series, “Curate.” Dr. Mortensen had his debut conducting engagement at Carnegie Hall with MidAmerica Productions, where he conducted a festival chorus of over 125 singers and orchestra in W.A. Mozart’s Missa Solemnis in C and has been invited to conduct Dan Forrest’s Lux: The Dawn from on High in Florence, Italy in June 2019.
Dr. Mortensen believes in the power of choral music to give us the opportunity to explore the human experience through the eyes of both poet and composer and to be able to change the lives of both singer and audience for the better.