by Sofia Bert
June 28, 2019
The School of Music and Dance is pleased to welcome new Director of Choral Studies, Dr. Arian Khaefi. Khaefi has worked with a wide range of students and professionals and is looking forward to building on the great tradition of singing at SDSU.
Khaefi will conduct the SDSU Chamber Choir, Concert Choir, and University Chorus. He will also teach choral literature and direct the graduate choral conducting program.
“Dr. Khaefi is not only an incredibly engaging instructor and director, he is extremely organized, passionate, detailed and collaborative. He listens very carefully to students both when singing and when they are asking questions,” said Scott Lipscomb, Director of the School of Music and Dance.
Khaefi said that his undergrad education was very untraditional; he attended three different colleges and universities before completing his bachelor’s degree at UCLA. He said that his experience helps him relate to students.
“I approach students with a lot of compassion and understanding when it comes to their degree path,” said Khaefi.
Lipscomb said that Khaefi brings with him an impressive academic and artistic pedigree.
“He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance from UCLA, a Master of Music in Conducting degree from UCLA, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the University of Michigan, along with professional activities including Handel Choir of Baltimore, Arts Chorale, University of Michigan’s University Musical Society Choral Union and Residential College Singers, and Ontario’s Windsor Classic Chorale,” said Lipscomb. “In addition, he brings seven years of experience as a university faculty member between his appointment at Towson University and Fullerton College.”
Khaefi is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, as well as Chorus America, and the National Collegiate Choral Organization, where he served as a national board member from 2013-2017.
In 2017, Khaefi was appointed as the Director of the Cornish American Song Institute Choral Scholars Program, a month-long intensive summer conducting program held in the United Kingdom in conjunction with Oxford University.
Khaefi said that he wants to provide a place on campus so that anyone who wants to sing can. One of his goals is to have the choirs be active participants in the artistic and cultural atmosphere of San Diego as well as represent SDSU at festivals and conferences.
“I love incredibly well constructed, cool, evocative, communicative music,” said Khaefi. “Because choral music draws from text, we have so much to reckon with in our rehearsals – from a vast array of human experience and emotion.”
Khaefi is nationally and internationally recognized for his accomplishments as a conducting pedagogue and guest conductor. In addition to regularly leading regional and all-state honor choirs, he has guest-conducted throughout Asia, Europe, and South America. Khaefi said that choruses under his direction have toured nationally and performed in concert halls across the United States.
“I have great confidence in our trio of ensemble directors, as we continue to enhance the learning experience for students in the School of Music and Dance,” said Lipscomb.
The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.News List