Sam Anderson, choral conductor
Sam Anderson, conductor, graduated in 2008 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. He is the Director of Choirs at Rockhurst High School, where he currently has over 200 young men singing in his 6 choirs. His students have performed extensively at churches and concert halls throughout Kansas City, including the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Biennially he tours a Rockhurst choir to Italy which performs as the guest liturgical choir for the masses at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, as well as at the head Jesuit churches in Rome: Chiesa del Gesù and St. Ignazio. In 2015, Mr. Anderson’s Concert Choir became the first music ensemble from Rockhurst chosen to perform at the Missouri Music Educators Association Conference. In 2013, his work with Rockhurst was nationally recognized, when out of over 30,000 nominations, he was announced as one of 217 quarter-finalists for the 2013 Music Educator Award presented by The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation.
Mr. Anderson is also the Director of Music at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, a musically advanced and growing church music program in Kansas City. During his time at St. Paul’s he has tripled the number of professional musicians and doubled the size of the volunteer members of the St. Paul’s Adult Choir. He was also recently a featured conductor of the Missouri Choral Artists, a professional ensemble that meets and performs during the summer and is comprised of singers from all over the state. Also an active performer, Mr. Anderson is a baritone in the Grammy-award winning Kansas City Chorale. He lives in Union Hill, Kansas City, with his beautiful wife and soprano, Sarah Tannehill Anderson.
Joshua Lawlor, choral accompanist & resident voice instructor
Joshua Lawlor has served as the choir accompanist and one of two resident voice instructors at Rockhurst High School since 2010. He earned a M.M. in Voice Performance from the University of Kansas. One of Kansas City’s most sought-after baritones, he has sung with many of the city's most respected concert organizations and consistently delivers sincere solo performances as our flourishing arts community explores fresh repertoire, both ancient and modern. Strong musical skill has also allowed for the breadth of modern music in Mr. Lawlor's repertoire; he has premiered roles in new works including six operas and a number of song-cycles. Mr. Lawlor is a member of NATS, and his private studio continues to gain attention for strong singing and preparation. His high school students wishing to pursue a career in music have gained entrance to some of the country's most prestigious conservatories.
In the classroom, Mr. Lawlor has created innovative methods of teaching vocal technique at the start of every rehearsal. More than accompanying a rote warmup, he actively pairs a diagnostic ear with a high-energy demeanor to teach a daily group lesson that engages every student as both a soloist and ensemble member. With precise advice based on the anatomical function of all voices, he encourages every man of Rockhurst choirs to build a solid voice regardless of his self-perceived level of talent.
Follow Mr. Lawlor's professional social media below:
David Adams, resident voice instructor
Grammy award winning tenor David Adams rejoined the team at RockChoirs as a resident voice instructor in 2014. This amazing singer has performed in a variety of settings throughout the United States and Europe. His work in opera has been described in Opera News as ‘light and flexible, yet fiery and expressive’. American companies where Mr. Adams has been engaged include The Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Orchestra of New York, The Caramoor Festival (with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s), New York City Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Memphis, Mississippi Opera, The Kansas City Symphony,The Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, Shreveport Opera, Syracuse Opera, Opera Birmingham, Houston’s Orchestra X, Augusta Opera, Opera Southwest, and Pittsburgh Opera.
Mr. Adams’ variety of concert performance opportunities include soloist work in Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and various halls throughout the country and in Europe. Mr. Adams may be heard as the Celebrant in Rachmaninov’s Liturgy of Saint John of Crysostum on a critically acclaimed recording of the work by the Kansas City Chorale for Nimbus Records. Recently Mr. Adams’ work with the Kansas City Chorale, in conjunction with the Phoenix Bach Choir, has garnered many accolades, including involvement in a recording project nominated for Best Choral Album from the Grammy Awards. He was recently honored as a soloist on a disc of choral works by Rene Clausen for Chandos Records, which received three Grammy Awards, including Best Choral Performance.
Follow Mr. Adams' professional social media below: