Choral Conductors

Barry Singer

Chorale and Chamber Chorus Conductor

Barry Singer has been the conductor of the Arlington-Belmont Chamber Chorus since 1994, and was named conductor of the Arlington-Belmont Chorale in 2004.

Mr. Singer, a member of the American Choral Directors Association, has conducted several groups in recent years in addition to the Chorale and Chamber Chorus. Each summer since 1999 he has led the M.S. Singers vocal ensemble, and in 2010 inaugurated the PSA's Open Summer Sing series. Mr. Singer has been a guest conductor for the Paul Madore Chorale Summer Sing series and the M.I.T Gilbert and Sullivan Players, and in 2009 served as interim Music Director for the First Parish Church in Needham. Other past directorships include the Arlington Friends of the Drama, the Oktoberfest Theater of Marlborough, and the Sudbury Savoyards. Additionally, he was a founder, member, and co-leader of Serious Fun, an award-winning contemporary a cappella group.

Mr. Singer, a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist since childhood, received his degree in Composition from Berklee College of Music where he studied with John Bavicchi and Jeronimas Kacinskas. The PSA has premiered three of his choral works, “Three Times We Parted” (1992) and “For I Know Well The Spring” (2006) written for the Chamber Chorus, and “Lux Aeterna” (2002) for the Chorale and Orchestra. Most recently, Mr. Singer composed the music for the Off-Broadway play, “Looking for Billy Haines”, which ran in New York in 2010.

Mr. Singer first began singing in high school, and studied voice while at Berklee. From 1983-1998 he sang with the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Tanglewood Festival Chorus, in numerous performances and recordings with the BSO and Boston Pops Orchestra. Mr. Singer served as baritone soloist with the Congregation Shirat Hayam of the North Shore from 2002-2010, and for many years was the baritone soloist and section leader at St. Peter’s Church in Weston.

On the instrumental side, Mr. Singer received flute and piano lessons from an early age, and added saxophone, clarinet, and electric bass while in his teens. Currently, Mr. Singer is an active piano accompanist, on staff at the Concord-Carlisle and Arlington Public School systems. He has accompanied competitions of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association, and is the summer pianist/organist at St. Peter’s Church in Weston. Other ongoing performing activities include frequent work as a freelance jazz pianist, as keyboard/sax/flute player with the popular Boston-area dance band Firefly, as a keyboard and woodwinds player for area theatre groups, and as a piccoloist and sax player with the Boston Windjammers, a professional marching band.

Mr. Singer is on the faculty at the Music Maker School in Acton, and maintains a private studio in Arlington where he teaches piano and music theory and provides audition coaching. He and his family have lived in Arlington, MA, since 1989.

Julia O'Toole

Assistant Chorale Conductor

In addition to assisting Barry Singer with the Arlington-Belmont Chorale, Julia is Artistic Director of Calliope, where she delights in the opportunity to lead musicians from a variety of New England choruses and orchestras. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate Degree in Historical Musicology at Boston University, where her areas of focus include the musical relationships of Susanna and Figaro to other characters in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, women composers of oratorio in the eighteenth century, choral/orchestral music from the eighteenth through twentieth centuries, and the history of opera reception.

Since graduating from Boston University with a BFA in vocal performance, Julia has studied conducting with Scott Allen Jarrett, and voice with Brett Johnson, Daniel Wyneken, Sharon Daniels and Jonathan Barnhart. She was awarded a Master’s Degree in Historical Musicology from Brandeis University after completing a thesis examining the tragic characters in the operas of Gian Carlo Menotti as humanized by the vocal-instrumental relationships of the scores.