Mark Bartel is in demand as a versatile conductor and music educator. This season he begins his seventh year as Director of Choral Music at Friends University and Conductor of the Singing Quakers. In July 2010, Dr. Bartel was appointed Artistic Director and Conductor of the Wichita Chamber Chorale — the third artistic director in the choir’s history.
A native of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, his career has taken him to several cities in the United States and Canada. He has held faculty positions at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, N.Y.; the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario; and Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, Manitoba. As doctoral fellow in choral conducting at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., Dr. Bartel was the conductor of the Repertory Singers and Assistant Conductor of the Eastman Chorale and the Eastman-Rochester Chorus. His doctoral research focused upon 18th century musical-rhetorical theory and the choral music of Bohemian composer, Jan Dismas Zelenka.
Since arriving in Wichita, he has led choirs in several performances at Kansas Music Educators Association and regional American Choral Directors Association conventions. In February 2010, he conducted the 100-voice Wichita Community Children’s Choir in performance at the Southwestern convention of the ACDA in Denver, Colo. He has toured with the Singing Quakers throughout the United States and Germany and the choir will perform throughout central Canada in their upcoming tour in May 2011. In addition to the Singing Quakers, Dr. Bartel conducts the Madrigal Choir, Women’s Chorus and Choral Union, and teaches applied voice and conducting at Friends University.
Dr. Bartel is active as a conductor of musical theatre in the Singing Quakers’ annual Broadway show, Symphony of Spring. As an orchestral conductor Dr. Bartel has been artistic director of several youth and community orchestras in Canada. As a conductor of choral-orchestral works, he regularly led the Mennonite Oratorio Choir and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He conducts Friends University Choirs in choral masterworks and frequently prepares the Singing Quakers for performances with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.
Active in the wider choral community, he is a sought after guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator. Dr. Bartel has held church music positions in both Winnipeg and Dallas, and is the Kansas Choral Directors Association Repertoire and Standards Chair for Community Choirs. He is the founder and director of Choral Connections, an annual festival which brings Kansas high school choirs to Friends University to study and perform under the baton of internationally-renowned specialists in choral music.
Dr. Bartel is a recipient of the Canada Council’s prestigious Sir Ernest Macmillan Prize in Conducting. He holds the Master of Music and Master of Sacred Music degrees from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.