Interim Associate Dean of Student and Program Development
Director of choral activities
Office: Pollak Building, Administrative Offices
John Guthmiller serves as the Interim Associate Dean of Student and Program Development for the VCU School of the Arts, the director of choral activities, and conductor of the VCU Commonwealth Singers. He came to the VCU Department of Music in 1988 after six years as director of choral activities at Arkansas Tech University. His choirs have performed throughout the southern U.S., in Poland and the former Soviet Union, as well as at the Arkansas Music Educators Convention, Virginia Music Educators Annual Conference, Southern Division Convention and the National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association. Guthmiller is very active as a guest conductor and clinician. He has conducted regional honors choruses in Arkansas, Florida and Virginia, including the 1999 Arkansas All-State Choir. He is also a former associate conductor of the Norman Luboff Choir and guest conductor of the Virginia Chorale. In 1995 he conducted the world premiere of Samuel Jones’ oratorio, “The Temptation of Jesus,” with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra.
Guthmiller holds degrees in music education, music history and literature, as well as the literature and performance of choral music. His post-graduate studies include a fellowship with the Aspen Chamber Choir, two summers as a conducting fellow at the Conductors Institute at the University of South Carolina, conducting in the Chorus America national conducting workshop and in the Conductors Guild national conducting workshop. His principal teachers have included Robert K. Baar, Clayton Krehbiel, Colleen Kirk, Donald Portnoy and Samuel Jones. He also has significant master class experience with Elmer Eisler, Richard Westenburg, Paul Vermel, Marc Mostovoy, Evan Whallon and Joel Revzen.
Articles authored by Guthmiller on vocal pedagogy in the choral rehearsal and on the choral music of Antonin Dvorák have appeared in the Choral Journal. He served as president of the Virginia chapter of the American Choral Directors Association from 1995-97 and subsequently as vice president of Virginia ACDA. From 1990-99 he served as music director at Richmond’s downtown Second Presbyterian Church, where he conducted major works such as Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” and Haydn’s “Creation” with members of the Richmond Symphony. Guthmiller served as conductor of the Richmond Concert Chorale for the 1999-00 season and as artistic director and conductor of the Williamsburg Choral Guild from 1999-02.
Guthmiller has been selected three times to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, appears in the 1991 Who’s Who in the South and Southwest and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi national honor society and Pi Kappa Lambda national music honor society.