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Nathan Windt, Choral Director

On this episode of Because… we hear the becauses of St. Ambrose University Director of Choral Activities, Nathan Windt.

As Director of Choral Activities at St. Ambrose University, Dr. Nathan Windt brings professional choral singing experience with the Chicago Symphony Chorus, the May Festival Chorus, the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati, the Camerata Singers of Lake Forest, and numerous church and synagogue choirs, singing masterworks under the batons of Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, James Conlon, and many others. While with the Chicago Symphony Chorus, he served as Musician-in-Residence with the South Shore Community Chorus, a community outreach choir that included choristers from the CSC. Dr. Windt is an accomplished baritone soloist, giving recitals (most recently Winterreise in February 2022), and singing both oratorio and operatic repertoire. His roles include Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus, Prince Yamadori in Madame Butterfly, the title role in Gianni Schicchi, Grandpa in The Tender Land, Bob in The Old Maid and the Thief, and Sciarrone in Tosca.

An accomplished conductor of opera, Dr. Windt has conducted a variety of operatic styles and epochs, including Le Nozze di Figaro, Dido and Aeneas, Cavalli’s L’Egisto, and Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortileges, the latter receiving First Place in Class IV of the National Opera Association Competition for Best Production of the Year (2007). He has also served as vocal coach for a number of productions, including Stravinsky's Les Noces, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, The Fantasticks, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. He was a conducting fellow at the International Bach Festival in Toronto in 2005; the Oregon Bach Festival in 2007; and, the 2010 Chorus America a cappella conducting masterclass. Dr. Windt has studied with world-leading conductors in masterclass settings as conducting participant, including Helmuth Rilling, Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars, Dale Warland and the Dale Warland Singers, Harry Christophers and the Sixteen, and Stephen Darlington. Dr. Windt’s publications include a conductor’s guide to Mozart’s pre-Viennese sacred choral music, an interview with internationally acclaimed composer Ivo Antognini, and an analysis of a new chamber orchestra arrangement of Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem, for which he conducted the American premiere in 2012. He is a regular contributor to The Choral Journal, reviewing choral recordings and choral interest publications.

Dr. Windt has taught at the elementary, middle school, and collegiate levels, including general music courses, studio voice, and humanities courses in American Popular Music, and is in demand as a conductor and clinician throughout the United States. Before coming to St. Ambrose University, Dr. Windt held teaching appointments at Central State University (Wilberforce, OH), Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH), and most recently, Tennessee Wesleyan College (Athens, TN), where he received the Exemplary Teaching Award for 2012, given by the Division of Higher Education of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. In 2016, Dr. Windt received the Faculty Member of the Year award, given by the St. Ambrose University Student-Alumni Association, and nominated by students of St. Ambrose, and in 2022, he was awarded the Community Choral Arts Winner for the North Scott Community School District. Dr. Windt’s church experience includes a variety of liturgical experiences as vocal section leader, music and choir director, and service accompanist and organist. He currently serves as the adult choir director at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, IA. He is an active member of the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA), the National Collegiate Choral Society (NCCO), the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Chorus America, the American Bach Society, and the College Music Society (CMS).

Marc Zyla joined WVIK, Quad Cities NPR in May 2022 as the Director of Community Engagement. Prior to that Zyla had been the Director of Education and Community Engagement with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, where he continues to perform as Principal Horn. Zyla believes that there is something for everyone in public radio and brings passion and creativity to his position as Director of Community Engagement.