Music Directors

Scott Youngs

April 23, 2021  The Arizona Masterworks Chorale proudly announces the appointment of choral conductor Scott Youngs of Phoenix as our new Music Director.  Scott will lead the Chorale’s artistic vision and activities as it returns to the concert stage for a full season in the fall of 2021.

Scott previously served as music director at All Saints Episcopal Church in Phoenix, where he headed an extensive choral music program ranging from children’s choirs to a professional chamber ensemble.  He is the founder of the Arizona Bach Festival, of which he’s currently the artistic director, and is known worldwide as a conductor, organist, and pianist.

“I look forward to meeting the members of the Chorale, learning their voices, and getting the new season underway,” said Scott.  “My goal for the Chorale is to attract even more outstanding singers, reach a wider audience, and be known for a well-crafted sound and unique performances.”

DR. KAREN PARTHUN brought her extensive background as a choral conductor, performer, and educator to lead the Chorale through the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons. She has served on the faculty and conducted choirs at Arizona State University (ASU) and the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL), and served as Artistic Director of the Arizona Masterworks Chorale, Arizona Arts Chorale, the Scottsdale Symphony Chorus, and the Roswell (NM) Civic Chorale. She has also conducted orchestral concerts. She currently serves as Music Director at Ascension Lutheran Church in Paradise Valley.

Karen holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA) in Choral Conducting as a Regents Scholar from ASU, Masters of Music (MM) from New Mexico State University, and Bachelor of Music and Theater from Eastern New Mexico University.

Proficient on many instruments, she is a national choral clinician, on the registry of World Strides Heritage Festivals, and an accomplished performer in musical theater, light opera, and classical music.  Among her favorites are appearances with the Melbourne and Sydney Philharmonic Orchestras, Opryland Broadway Theater, Four Corners Opera, Great American Vaudeville and Theater, and at Lincoln Center with Robert Shaw.

Dr. Parthun has also been a music educator in the public schools for 11 years in Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, and Virginia. A sacred musician since age 18, Karen is passionate about creating exciting and meaningful worship experiences for children and adults.

DR. WILLIAM A. GLEASON (2007-2018) received a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Choral Music from Arizona State University. He also holds a BS in Music Education and an MMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to coming to Arizona, Dr. Gleason taught vocal and general music for ten years in Illinois at both the junior high and high school levels.  He has also served as a clinician and adjudicator in Illinois and Arizona.

After serving as a graduate teaching assistant at Arizona State University for two years, he has taught at Chandler-Gilbert Community College and in the Avondale Elementary School District.  He is currently Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church in Sun City.  Dr. Gleason has served as choral director at churches in Illinois and Arizona for over twenty years and conducted the Choralaires of Phoenix men’s chorus. As a choral singer, Dr. Gleason has traveled extensively, including trips to Carnegie Hall in New York, Mexico City, and Europe on concert tours.

MARY ANN DUTTON (d. 2016) founded the Arizona Masterworks Chorale (AMC) in 1979 and served as music director until her retirement in 2007.

A Phoenix native, Mary Ann attended Arizona State University, graduating with a master’s degree in Music in 1954, followed by further graduate study at Northwestern University in Evanston IL. In her formative years, she studied with several notable choral directors, including Margaret Hillis and Robert Shaw.

Mary Ann’s teaching career began at North High School in Phoenix. She was a Professor of Music at Phoenix College and at Glendale Community College, where she taught voice, opera, and performance courses, as well as directing musical productions and the visiting artist series. She retired from GCC as Professor Emerita.

Mary Ann’s choral directing career began with the Phoenix YMCA Youth Chorus.  In 1979, the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Theo Alcantra and Carmen Dragon, asked her to assemble a chorus to perform with the symphony. Mary Ann led the ensemble, which performed with the symphony until they took the Phoenix Symphony Chorus in-house as part of the PSO in 2001.

Under Mary Ann’s leadership, AMC performed in major concert venues in the U.S. and Europe, including Carnegie Hall, the Royal Festival Hall in London, and at the dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington DC. The Chorale traveled frequently and performed with the Bavarian State Radio Orchestra in Germany, and the New York Pops, directed by Skitch Henderson.  In 2001, AMC joined with the Arizona Opera Chorus in a production of Aïda.

Mary Ann served as music director at Faith Presbyterian Church in Sun City AZ, and on the boards of the Arizona Opera, Yavapai Symphony Association, and the National Society of Arts and Letters. After retiring in 2007, she moved to Prescott, AZ and became active in community music and theater. In 2015, the Prescott Friends of the Arizona Opera and the Yavapai Symphony honored Mary Ann for her lifelong dedication and service to the Arizona Arts Community.

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