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Carl Johengen (Tenor, Choral Conductor)

Born: 1962 - Buffalo, New York, USA

The American tenor, choral conductor and music pedagogue, Carl Johengen, received his Bachelor of Music degree in oboe (1984, magna cum laude), his Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting and Voice Performance (1987) from Ithaca College School of Music. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in voice performance from the Eastman School of Music, where he was awarded the schoolís prestigious Performerís Certificate (May 1998). His voice teachers were William McIver (Eastman School of Music); Masako Toribara (Eastman School of Music); Helen Boatwright; William Parker; Carol McAmis, Lawrence Doebler (Ithaca College). His singing has received accolades and awards in several national and international competitions, including: Finalist at Heida Hermanns Young Artists Competition (1985), Finalist at Richard Tauber International Competition for Tenors (1995), First Place at NATS Artist Awards New York State Preliminaries (1996 & 1998), Robert Grooters Award at NATS Artist Awards (1998), Semi-finalist at Concert Artists Guild Competition (1999), Finalist at the National Opera Association Competition, Artists Division (1999).

Carl Johengen has garnered a reputation as an exceptionally skilled and versatile musician, achieving considerable success as a choral conductor, teacher, singer, and composer. As a tenor singer, his performances have consistently been hailed as expressive, intelligent, and technically assured. He has appeared in recital, concert and opera throughout the USA, sharing the stage with such artists as baritones Max van Egmond and Kurt Ollmann, lutenist Paul O'Dette, and conductors Robert Page, Phillip Brunelle, Gilbert Varga, Andrews Sill, and Shinik Hahm. His diverse repertoire spans Monteverdi and J.S. Bach to Lou Harrison and Arvo Pärt.

Carl Johengen has appeared as a soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Syracuse Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Hartford Symphony, and Green Bay Symphony. He has sung at Lincoln Centerís Avery Fisher and Alice Tully Halls, and at the Berkshire Choral Festival and the Boston Early Music Festival. In November 2014 he made his New York recital debut at Carnegie Hallís Weill Recital Hall in a new song cycle written for him by David Sisco.

A specialist in music of the Baroque, Carl Johengen has appeared frequently as a soloist with the historical instrument ensemble The Publick Musick, with whom he has performed over a dozen of J.S. Bachís cantatas as well as the St. John Passion (BWV 245) and sacred music of Monteverdi. He has appeared with The Publick Musick at the Boston Early Music Festival in J.S. Bachís Coffee Cantata (BWV 211) and two of his Lutheran Masses. A frequent guest with regional and collegiate oratorio societies, he has been heard in numerous works of Purcell, J.S. Bach, George Frideric Handel, Haydn, Monteverdi, W.A. Mozart, Schubert and Arthur Honegger, among others. He has sung Benjamin Brittenís War Requiem at the Eastman School of Music and at Lawrence University; the latter performance was broadcast on Wisconsin Public Radio.

On the operatic stage, Carl Johengen has appeared as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, as Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, as Beppe in I Pagliacci, and in leading roles in several Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. An active chamber musician, he performs frequently with Sweet, Fair & Wise, a trio with guitarist Doug Rubio and flautist Jill Rubio. The trio was invited to perform at the 2004 Convention of the National Association of Teachers of Singing in New Orleans and at the 2004 St. Lawrence Music Festival.

Carl Johengen has also been active as a professional chamber chorister, singing with such groups as Musica Intima (8-voice early music ensemble in Buffalo, New York), Syracuse Vocal Ensemble (18-voice chamber choir), and Madrigalia (18-voice chamber choir in Rochester, New York).

Carl Johengen has been active as a church musician and conductor of church choirs since 1987. He has conducted professional, civic and church choral groups throughout New York State;. In addition, he has conducted festival choirs in Syracuse and Rochester. Recently he has been in demand as a guest conductor for high school Area All-State and All-County festivals: Zone 15 Area All-State Womenís Choir (November 2005), Zone 4 Area All-State Mixed Chorus (November 2006), Ontario/Yates/Seneca Counties (January 2007), Sullivan County (March 2009), Seneca/Tompkins Counties (January 2010), Alleghany County (March 2011), Oswego County (April 2011).

Carl Johengen served on the Voice Faculty of the Berkshire Choral Festival between 2000 and 2007, working with such renowned conductors as Robert Page, Jane Glover, Tom Hall, John Alexander, Vance George, Philip Brunelle, Kathy Saltzman Romey, Grant Gershon, Donald McCullough, John Rutter, Nicholas Cleobury, Dennis Keene, David Flood, Duain Wolfe, Gary Thor Wedow, David Hayes, Maria Guinand, and Craig Hella Johnson. He has served as Music Director of Ithacaís Cayuga Vocal Ensemble (Ithaca's premiere a cappella choral group) since 2009, and of the Wells College Concert Choir since 2011. In 2014 he took over as Conductor of the Womenís Chorale @171 in Corning New York. He served as guest conductor for their Spring concert, "Sing On, Till I Am Filled", on Sunday, March 29 at the First Presbyterian Church in Ithaca; subsequently he was selected to serve as their fourth conductor. The Cayuga Vocal Ensemble, a 16-voice semi-professional ensemble, has a history of over two decades of presenting concerts and giving appearances around the Ithaca area. In 2011, he was invited to serve as guest conductor for the 171 Cedar Women's Chorale in Corning, on the occasion of the group's 20th Anniversary.

Carl Johengen was Founding Music Director of the Syracuse Gay and Lesbian Chorus (SLGC) from its inception in 1991 to 1997, and again from 2004 to 2007. He prepared and conducted SGLC in two major concerts annually, as well as over a dozen road concerts and appearances throughout New York State. He led SGLC in its debut as the first non-theatrical group to be included in the Onondaga County Cultural Resources Councilís Summerfest invitational festivals in 1992 and 1993, and in its debut performance at the GALAChoruses (Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses) Festival in Montreal in July 2004. He has overseen the preparation and performance of two large works for chorus and piano that were commissioned by the chorus, as well as two recordings.

Other past positions include: Assistant Conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus (then Buffalo Schola Cantorum); Chorus Master for Syracuse Opera Company; and Diocesan Director for Music for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse.. He has led workshops in choral and church music throughout the country, and is in demand as a conductor of high school festival choirs. He is a member of Chorus America.

A highly regarded teacher, Carl Johengen served as a member of the voice faculty of the Berkshire Choral Festival between 2000 and 2007. He joined the voice faculty the Ithaca College School of Music in Fall 2007. He joined the faculty of Wells College in Aurora, New York as Choral Director in Fall 2011. He has held academic apointments also at the Nazareth College of Rochester, the Crane School of Music of SUNY Potsdam, Hamilton College, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and Syracuse University. He has maintained an active private studio in his home since 1991. His private students have ranged in age from 15 to 70..Under his instruction, students have participated successfully in competitions, given memorable performances in concert and recital, undertaken operatic and musical theater roles, and have achieved admission to prestigious undergraduate and graduate music programs. These include Ithaca College, St. Olaf College, the Crane School of Music, University of Western Michigan, Boston University, Miami University, the Manhattan School of Music, Houghton College, Mansfield University, and the Royal College of Music in London, among others.

Carl Johengen is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and is actively involved with the Central New York-Finger Lakes chapter of NATS. From 2005 to 2007, he served as Auditions Coordinator of the chapter's annual Auditions. Dr. Johengen has a strong interest in research, especially in the vocal music of the Baroque era. Click below to read a couple of his articles which have appeared in the Journal of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Carl Johengen is also an award-winning composer of choral and sacred music two dozen of his sacred and secular choral works have been released by five prominent publishing houses, and several significant commissions.

Source: Carl Johengen Website, Photo 01 by Dewey Nield of Ithaca NY; The Artist (March 2015)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2012, March 2015)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Chun-Ming Chen


Audio: Aria from BWV 1

Thomas Folan


Audio: Aria from BWV 245

William Weinert


BWV 244, BWV 245

Links to other Sites

Carl Johengen (Official Website)
Carl Johengen - Ithaca College - Faculty List (Ithaca College)
WLP: Artists & Authors: Carl Johengen

Carl Johengen Biography (GIA Publications)
Carl Johengen, Musical Director (Cayuga Vocal Ensemble)

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Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 08:42