Associate Professor of Music, Department Chair (Spring 2015), Director of Choral Activities
Katherine FitzGibbon conducts the Lewis & Clark College choirs, teaches music history and conducting, and oversees the vibrant voice and choral area. In 2014, she was an inaugural winner of the Lorry Lokey Faculty Excellence Award, honoring “inspired teaching, rigorous scholarship, demonstrated leadership, and creative accomplishments.” At Lewis & Clark, she has conducted concerts including Mozart’s Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Carol Barnett’s The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass, Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, and music ranging from medieval chant to the premiere of a work for symphonic chorus and Javanese gamelan.
As Artistic Director of Portland’s professional Resonance Ensemble, she has conducted repertoire ranging from Schütz’s Singet dem Herrn to Feldman’s Rothko Chapel as part of innovative thematic concert programs. These programs represent collaborations between the Northwest’s finest professional singers and visual artists, poets (including the Oregon Poet Laureate), actors, dancers, and other musical organizations including Third Angle New Music, FearNoMusic, Cascadia Composers, and the Portland Chamber Orchestra. Resonance has been called “one of the finest choirs in the Northwest” by Willamette Week, and Dr. FitzGibbon’s interdisciplinary approach was cited in an article in the Wall Street Journal about Portland’s collaborative arts scene.
She is also Head of Faculty at the summertime Berkshire Choral Festival. She has served as Director of Choral Activities at Clark University, Interim Director of Choirs at Cornell University, and has conducted undergraduate choirs at Harvard University, Boston University, and the University of Michigan. Dr. FitzGibbon has been Assistant Conductor of the professional ensemble Boston Secession, Chorusmaster of the Windsor Symphony Chorus in Windsor, Ontario, guest conductor of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, and a staff conductor at the Rome Opera Festival in Rome, Italy. She has directed secondary school choral programs, guest conducted honor choirs, adjudicated solo and choral competitions, and she serves on the boards of the Northwest division of the American Choral Directors Association and the National Collegiate Choral Organization.
A lyric soprano, Dr. FitzGibbon is a frequent recitalist and performer of early through new music, having performed with Friends of Rain, Third Angle New Music Ensemble, Cappella Romana, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Clark University’s Faculty Recital Series, the Boston Secession Artist Series, Cornell University Mid-Day Music, and recitals at the Berkshire Choral Festival. On the concert stage, she has sung solos with ensembles including the Windsor Symphony, Berkshire Choral Festival, Boston Secession, Kings Chapel Concert Series, Ocean City Pops Orchestra, Boston University Chamber Chorus, and University of Michigan Early Music Ensemble, in works from Schütz to Beethoven to world premieres.
Dr. FitzGibbon’s research discusses the use of historicism and German nationalism in the German Requiems of Brahms, Reger, and Distler, considering links between monumental choral music and political nationalism in the Bismarck era through the Third Reich. She has presented her research at conferences for the Institute of Advanced Study of the Social Sciences in Paris, France; the National Collegiate Choral Organization; and the American Choral Directors Association. In 2012, she received a Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst fellowship (DAAD, the German equivalent of a Fulbright) to travel to Berlin to conduct further research on Brahms reception, German Requiems, and the Third Reich.
D.M.A. 2008 Boston University, M.A. 2002 University of Michigan, B.A. 1998 Princeton University