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Biography & Career     

In addition to performing and teaching, Maureen has been supporting the Bay Area vocal arts community outreach.

Coloratura soprano Maureen Chowning studied at the Boston and New England Conservatories of Music before moving to the San Francisco Bay area. She has since appeared on the Public Broadcasting System's NOVA series and Smithsonian World with Max Mathews, demonstrating his Radio Baton and conductor program. She has also performed at concerts in the UK, Canada, Poland, and Japan and at the International Electronic Music Festival at Bourges, France, where in 1990 she gave the world premiere of "Solemn Songs for Evening" by Richard Boulanger and in 1997 she gave the premiere of "Sea Songs" by Dexter Morrill. In addition to singing the premiere of Joanne Carey's "Three Spanish Songs", she and the composer performed this piece in Poland, Hong Kong, Vancouver and Mexico.

In March 2005 she gave the world premiere of "Voices," composed for her by John Chowning, for computer generated sound and solo soprano at the Maison de Radio in Paris and in March 2006 the US premiere as part of a Berkeley Symphony Concert series. Also, Ms Chowning performed "Oscura" by Jean-Claude Risset in Buenos Aires, Quito and CCRMA, Stanford University. She is noted for her special ability to sing comfortably in alternative tunings, such as the Pierce scale, and in a wide variety of styles. Her repertoire ranges from Handel oratorios, operatic roles such as the "Queen of the Night" from Mozart's "The Magic Flute", to contemporary music including works of Schoenberg, Qui Dong, Servio Marin, and Atau Tanaka.

Ms. Chowning has maintained a busy private studio for vocal instruction for 27 years and is very active giving master-classes around the world.

Teaching / Community Outreach       

Throughout my childhood and adolescent years, I was fortunate to have attended the public schools of Boston Massachusetts. During the 1960's there was strong support for the arts throughout the state schools. I was given scholarships to attend summer classes in multiple art projects as part of new charter programs designed to create links between all of the arts.

In addition to our active school singing club, I was able to attend Boston's All City chorus and later the All State Chorus. These were tremendously inspiring to me and I contemplated having a career as a choral conductor. During my junior year of high school I was invited to join the school of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and received a scholarship for private vocal study with Bernard Barbeau, head of the voice department of the New England Conservatory of Music. This experience profoundly influenced my perspectives on both music and life.

While I attended college I joined the semi-professional Lexington Choral Society and participated in the choral activities at Harvard University during summers. During my years at the Boston Conservatory of Music, I was encouraged to pursue a career as a soloist and participated in productions of the Boston Opera Company directed by Sara Caldwell.

After the birth of my son, I became involved in his general and musical education by creating various music productions for fundraising. At this time I was also asked to substitute teach for music teachers and began to create new courses in addition to assisting students in their school performances. I very much enjoyed this freedom and invented new courses such as an introductory course to Midi. By the end of each session, students were given a tour of CCRMA at Stanford University and met Max Mathews as he demonstrated his latest project with his "Radio Baton" program. In addition they were able to create an original piece in a real professional recording studio. During this time I began a private voice studio at the request of several colleagues and have continued to maintain all its necessary activities. These choices were made quite easily, as I was often looking for ways to "give back".

For community outreach activities, I co-ordinated several seasons of productions as the artistic director and producer of the "Pied Piper Concert Series" at Stanford University. This I felt, was a grand project, profiting not only scholarships for students studying music at Stanford University it also enabled the Bay Area school students to attend these performances, some of whom participated in the productions. My collaboration with the children's Cantabile Chorus under the directions of Signe Boyer in performances of a special production of the opera Hansel and Gretel by Humperdinck, was especially rewarding in particular, these creative activities so much that I had to decline an offer to do similar work for our local West Bay Opera company.

I really do love to teach good singing habits to children in my studio. They are able to learn a healthy technique and enjoy singing in multiple genres. It's a wonderful experience to oversee their progress as they grow towards realizing their full potentials. I look forward to teaching your children.


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