The American conductor and educator, Jan Harrington, holds degrees from Southern Methodist University and from Indiana University, where he studied for his doctorate with Fiora Contino and Julius Herford.
Jan Harrington was director of choral activities at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma and a faculty member of the State University of New York at Fredonia. Three sabbatical leaves have allowed further orchestral studies at the London Philharmonic Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra. He was a regular member of the faculty at the Aspen Choral Institute from 1979 to 1982 and has conducted at the Aspen Music Festival. He was co-founder and Music Director of Music Festival At Grey Towers, a professional chamber orchestra with summer residence at the mansion of former governor Gifford Pinchot in Milford, Pennsylvania near New York City. He is a continuing faculty member at the Dartmouth Conducting Institute held summers at Dartmouth College.
In 1985 Jan Harrington joined joining the faculty at prestigious Indiana University School of Music. Currently he holds the Chair of the Choral Department and is Professor of conducting. He presently conducts the school's University Singers, a select group of 30 singers whose repertoire extends from the Renaissance to the 20th century. He also conducts various orchestral concerts and opera on campus during the year. For 10 years he was conductor of the Indiana University Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, a group devoted to the performance of avant-garde vocal music.
Jan Harrington is equally at home with orchestra, opera and oratorio. His repertoire extends from the great choral works of H. Schütz, Monteverdi, and Machaut, to the Requiems of Berlioz, J. Brahms, Mozart and Verdi, to such 20th-century pieces as Francis Poulenc's Gloria, Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire, Igor Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex and Symphony of Psalms, and the Luciano Berio's Sinfonia. His orchestra and opera experience includes music of the Baroque, Messiaen's Turangalila-Symphony, Corigliano's Symphony No. 1, performances of Monteverdi Coronation of Poppea and L'Orfeo, Charles Gounod Faust, Gluck Orfeo ed Euridice, I. Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, Verdi's La Traviata, John Adams Nixon in China, and major works of the orchestral repertoire. He has conducted for the Stockton (CA) and Roanoke Opera companies. His orchestral and choral performances have been consistently noted for their inventive programming and communicative excitement.
Jan Harrington is an active clinician in conducting and score analysis at many festivals across the USA. His conducting students now hold major positions throughout the USA and in twelve foreign countries. He has recorded for Spectrum Records and is part of the editorial team for the 2nd edition of Choral Conducting: A Symposium published by Prentice-Hall.
In addition to directing the University Singers, Dr. Jan Harrington teaches graduate conducting and acts as advisor to all the graduate students in the Choral Department.