W. Edward McCall
A native of Port Arthur, Ontario, Canada, Mr. McCall is a veteran music educator and choral conductor. He has taught students of all ages in both Canada and the United States. The Artistic Director of Cantus Novus is a champion for music education as evidenced by the conducting intern program that he initiated and by his interest in recruiting high school and college-aged singers to the group.
He is the CEO of the Organ Historical Society, headquartered in Villanova, PA, and is also the Director of Music at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Doylestown.
Previous appointments as choral educator include the faculties of Westminster Choir College (Princeton, NJ), Temple University (Philadelphia, PA) and St. Michael’s Choir School (Toronto, Canada). A significant posting for Mr. McCall was as Director of Choral Activities for high school and junior high schools at the Council Rock School District in Newtown, PA. He currently teaches private students across the Delaware Valley.
From the beginning of his professional career, choirs under Mr. McCall’s direction have appeared locally, regionally, and nationally. Appearances beyond the concert stage include television, professional recordings, symphony concerts, choral festivals, tours, and a Papal visit. In the United States, choirs under Mr. McCall’s direction performed at several PMEA All-State Conventions to enthusiastic acclaim. He has coordinated and directed dozens of choir tours including a ten-day odyssey to the People’s Republic of China. Additionally, he has conducted more than a few world-premiere performances of new choral works.
Mr. McCall holds a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting and Music Education from Westminster Choir College. He studied conducting with Joseph Flummerfelt, Constatina Tsoulainu, Alan Crowell, Frauke Haasemann, Sir David Willcocks, John Rutter, Rodney Eichenberger, and Andre Thomas.
Jihye has wide accompaniment experience, ranging from vocal and instrumental collaborations, summer opera programs and serving as recital accompanist. Currently living in S. Brunswick, NJ, she is also a staff accompanist at Westminster Choir College and a piano instructor at Rutgers University Prep School.
Leah Schick is a senior at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance, pursuing a degree in Instrumental Music Education. She studied classical voice, violin, and piano throughout grade school, was the concertmaster of her school orchestra and the Montgomery County Youth Orchestra and participated in numerous honors orchestras and choirs. Currently she performs with several ensembles at Temple, including the Temple Symphony Orchestra.
In 2016 Leah founded the Presby Singer choir, a choir of residents ages 75-103 who live in Presby's Inspired Life Assisted Living Home in Lafayette Hill, PA. In the summer of 2018, she taught voice, violin, piano, guitar, ukulele, and general music in San Cristobal, Ecuador, for one month to complete a research project about teaching music across a language barrier. She is an intern at the Philadelphia String Project, recently was the vocal music director for the Consortium for the Arts summer camp and created the Choir Across the Ages project, which included singers from ages of 7 to 103.
Cantus novus conducting Internship program
CNCIP provides an opportunity for talented musicians seeking hands-on experience to work with a chamber choir comprised of especially talented community musicians.
Each year one or two promising college students entering the field of choral conducting and music education are selected to become a conducting intern. In addition to participation at rehearsals and conducting at performances, the interns will gain administrative skills by working with the choir administrator as well as attending one board meeting. Each intern works closely with the Artistic Director to refine conducting techniques. Since it is difficult for young aspiring conductors to gain experience, this internship is an important and innovative contribution to the Delaware Valley's musical community.
The CNCIP Experience
Earlier interns speak
Victor Abednego, who graduated from Westminster Choir College in May 2017, served as our conducting intern for 2015-2017.
In his words, “Cantus Novus is a choir where I could apply everything I learned in school but also where I could learn new things. Ed McCall is an excellent mentor. He always gave me feedback during or after rehearsal. Even when I was not on the podium, I learned by observing how he rehearses the choir. The choir members were very talented and supportive. They responded to every conducting gesture I made and gave feedback for my improvement.”
Anthony Madonna, was our intern for 2014-15 and also was the recipient of the 2nd Place in the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National Undergraduate Conducting Competition held in 2015. We would like to share his review of his experiences with Cantus Novus.
Cantus Novus is sponsored in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, by the New York Life Foundation, and by Visit Bucks County Pennsylvania.
Cantus Novus is a member of Chorus America and the Guild for Early Music