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Founding Artistic Director, William P. Gorton

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William Gorton received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from Arizona State University. With a Master's degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College, much of William's career has found him felicitously conducting choral and orchestral ensembles. As the Founding Artistic Director of the Central Virginia Masterworks Chorale, Assistant Conductor of the Phoenix Symphony Chorus, and Artistic Director of the New Jersey MasterChorale, he has prepared and conducted great choral works such as Brahms' "Ein deutsches Requiem",  Durufle's Requiem, Handel's "Messiah", Bach's Magnificat in D, Mozart's "Coronation" mass, the Great Mass in C Minor, as well as the Requiem. Beethoven's Mass in C, Vivaldi's "Gloria", Schubert's mass in G, and Rutter's "Gloria," among numerous smaller works under his direction, have delighted audiences. With the New Jersey MasterChorale, Gorton had the distinction of producing "Gloria in excelsis: Christmas with the New Jersey MasterChorale" for Public Radio International. This hour-long program, featuring John Rutter's "Gloria" as well as Gorton's Te Deum, was broadcast nationwide in December 2018. The orchestra for the Chorale comprised distinguished musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra & Friends, and the recording also featured the Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale, with mezzo soprano Deidra Palmour.

William's approach to the preparation and presentation of choral works is notable for its quality. Careful attention to all aspects of this craft, including diction, musicianship, blend, voice building, and integrity to the text are hallmarks of his work. William's experience as an operatic tenor and voice pedagogue of many years has given him tools to help singers achieve optimal vocal function. Noted for his quick wit and his dedication to quality, William is known for making rehearsals both pleasurable and effective. He believes that joining voices and spirits together in choral singing demonstrates the highest level of artistic achievement, creating a palpable unity that the world very much needs.

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"I have had the distinct pleasure of performing and recording with William Gorton for many years. He is a superb conductor and composer, and he consistently attracts top-flight musicians from the Philadelphia Orchestra and the very best freelance musicians for his collaborations." --Bob Cafaro, cellist, The Philadelphia Orchestra

"The members of the Phoenix Symphony Chorus liked and respected Dr. Gorton very much, and benefited from his extensive experience as a vocalist, voice teacher, and choir director. He was very instrumental in helping to develop the vocal sound of the chorus to a high degree...When he rehearsed repertoire, he was professional, efficient, and effective, and he kept the singers’ attention while he improved their skill and their execution of the music. I remember several occasions where...I felt as if I was receiving a master class in choral methods myself." --Tom N. Bookhout, DMA, Chorus Master, Phoenix Symphony

"Dr. Gorton...can take ordinary singers and mold them into extraordinary performers at the highest level. At my church he worked well with the youth choir, college students from Randolph-Macon College, and the senior choir. He was able to blend all of these singers as well as professional soloists and symphony members into a musical instrument of excellence and beauty. He has a gift for helping singers to excel beyond expectations." --Rev. Dwight L. Zavtiz, Jr.

"I have worked with many talented choral directors and have evidenced many different styles of choral conducting. Dr. Gorton is one individual I have worked with who uniquely stands out. During our time together, Dr. Gorton displayed highly skilled talents in teaching vocal technique, expertise in conducting choral ensembles with sensitivity and utmost attention to detail. He is a gifted singer, an accomplished composer, a proficient pianist and a brilliant conductor...It is not just his technical skills that impress me, however. Dr. Gorton was a joy to work with because of his amazing passion for music and his unlimited amount of patience. When working with various levels of singing abilities with mostly volunteer choir members, he gently treats everyone with respect and positive reinforcements. He is able to put people at ease with his deportment, and at the same time be humble about his virtuosity."--Patricia Nyce, Past President, NJ MasterChorale

"His enthusiasm and passion for music coupled with his desire to share that with others makes it a pleasure to work with him." -- Stephanie Wilson, oboist with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra and Principal Librarian (and oboe substitute) with the North Carolina Symphony.  

For more information on Dr. Gorton visit

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