Sonoma State University choir director Jenny Bent has been appointed Choral Director for the Santa Rosa Symphony. During her two-year appointment, which begins with the 2016-2017 concert season, she will continue to serve as Director of Choral Activities at Sonoma State.
In her role as Choral Director for the symphony, Bent will organize, audition, and rehearse choirs of singers. She will also continue to direct the SSU Symphonic Chorus.
"Given that we are now the resident orchestra of the Green Music Center on the campus of Sonoma State University, we are delighted to have Jenny Bent join the Santa Rosa Symphony for our choral concerts in the upcoming season," said Santa Rosa Symphony Executive Director Alan Silow. "Her delightful energy and enthusiasm as a choral director will help us build upon the foundation of choral excellence that has been a tradition in our community for many years."
The symphony has a choral program scheduled this year for its December 3-5 performance and for April 7-9, 2018. Both programs will be performed in Weill Hall at Sonoma State's Green Music Center.
Bent replaces Choir Director Bob Worth, who held the position from 2002 to 2015 and served as a music professor and choir director at Sonoma State during a portion of that time.
With over 80 singers, the SSU Symphonic Chorus presents two to three major concerts each semester, performing large works such as the Mozart Requiem and Orff's Carmina Burana, as well as thematic projects like Music of Latin America and The Long Road to Freedom.
Jenny Bent, DMA, is Director of Choral Activities at Sonoma State University and Project Manager of Chanticleer's summer program, Chanticleer in Sonoma. She will add to her choral responsibilities beginning with the 2016-2017 season as the new Choral Director of the Santa Rosa Symphony.
She is a graduate of Boston University (BM in Voice Performance, MM in Choral Conducting, MM in Voice Performance) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (DMA in Choral Conducting and Choral Literature). Her teachers include Ann Howard Jones, Jerold Siena, and Ruth Ann Swenson. She has also worked with such choir eminences as Robert Shaw, Joseph Jennings, Matthew Oltman, Peter Bagley, Dennis Keene and Julian Wachner.
In California, Bent's choirs have received much acclaim, earning unanimous superior ratings and command performances at choral festivals throughout the Bay Area and receiving invitations to perform at such venues as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. She has 10 years of experience as a high school music educator, most recently having served as the Director of Vocal Music at the Marin School of the Arts. From 2002-2007 she was the artistic director and conductor of the award-winning teen treble choir, Chantons. Dr. Bent also served on the voice faculty of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, which is part of the Tanglewood Music Center, the summer home of the Boston Symphony.
In addition to her academic work, Bent serves as an adjudicator for such organizations as the California Music Educators Association, the American Choral Directors Association, Golden State, and clinics choirs throughout the Bay Area and beyond. From 2007-2014, Dr. Bent could be heard hosting the radio show The Choir Loft on KRCB-FM, the Sonoma County NPR affiliate.
About the Santa Rosa Symphony
Santa Rosa Symphony, the resident orchestra of the Green Music Center, is the third oldest professional orchestra in California, currently in its 88th season, and the largest regional symphony north of Los Angeles. The symphony is also recognized for having one of the most comprehensive music education programs in California, serving nearly 23,000 youth annually.