The American choral conductor, teacher, arranger and composer, Stuart Raeleigh, was born, raised and educated in Syracuse, New York. He is a graduate of Syracuse University.
Stuart Raeleigh began his collegiate teaching career at Syracuse University. Shortly after graduating from Syracuse, he spent two summers at Tanglewood where he was a rehearsal accompanist for such musical greats as Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland. He also spent five summers as a staff pianist at Blossom Music Center where he was Robert Shaw’s rehearsal accompanist and a soloist under conductor Pierre Boulez.
Stuart Raleigh has been the Director of Choral Activities at Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea Ohio since 1973
Since coming to Baldwin-Wallace, he has become an integral part of the College as well as the musical scene in Northeast Ohio. He was the Music Director of the Baldwin-Wallace College and Baldwin-Wallace Motet Choir, the latter of which he established specifically to perform at the Bach Festival, but which also developed as a separate entity. He was the choral director of the Baldwin-Wallace College Bach Festival (1974-2008). In 2008 he conducted the Motet Choir in J.S. Bach's Motet Lobet den Herrn alle Heiden, BWV 230, the same work he had conducted in 1974.
Stuart Raeleigh was the music director for Baldwin-Wallace opera and music theatre productions and was a frequent collaborative pianist with faculty and students. In 2008, his musical direction for the fall production of The Phantom of the Opera had many patrons asking if the orchestra was composed of professional musicians (it was a student ensemble). He also conducted the orchestra for the opera Semele in February, performed a faculty recital with colleague Robert Mayerovitch, and conducted a program with the College and Baldwin-Wallace Motet Choir.
With the end of the academic year 2008, Stuart Raleigh wrapped up a 34-year career as a choral director at the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory. The 2008 Baldwin-Wallace College Bach Festival was dedicated to Raleigh, who has been the chorus master of the Festival since 1974. “It’s hard to imagine the Conservatory without Stuart Raleigh,” said Nanette Canfield, assistant director of the Conservatory, who has been both a student and colleague of Raleigh. “Hundreds of students have been awed, inspired, and instructed by him over the years. I should add that they’ve been made to laugh as well, since Stuart’s wit is as legendary as his astonishing musical prowess.”
In the broader community, Stuart Raleigh was a conductor for the Cleveland Opera and Lyric Opera Cleveland. In addition, he was music director for the Great Lakes Theater Festival’s productions of A Christmas Carol and for Berea Summer Theatre, in addition to productions of opera and music theatre at Baldwin-Wallace. He is also an accomplished pianist, having been a member of the Syracuse Symphony, Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra, and Ohio Chamber Orchestra, and appearing as a soloist under Pierre Boulez, Marice Stith, Frederick Prausnitz, Aaron Copland, and Dwight Oltman.
The connections that Stuart Raleigh has made during his tenure are likely to provide continuing performance and conducting opportunities following his retirement. While he has no specific plans, he hopes to stay involved in the musical community. He also hopes to spend part of the year in another part of the country…perhaps San Francisco.
Stuart Raeleigh is also composer and arranger. He has composed for all media, but in recent years has concentrated on choral composition and arrangements.