“My compositions and arrangements come from practical needs as well as programmatic needs I encounter in which I would rather create my own piece than use another piece, or when I cannot find what I am looking for elsewhere, or where I think a need exists. And of course, there are times in which a composition idea takes over, and I have to act on it and write it myself.”
Tim Sharp is Executive Director of the American Choral Directors Association, the world’s largest association of choral conductors, teachers, students, scholars, composers, and choral industry representatives. Dr. Sharp has pursued an aggressive agenda of strategic planning and progressive and innovative initiatives to keep the American Choral Directors Association energized and relevant in the 21st century. He represents choral activity in the United States as a member of the Board of the International Federation for Choral Music, and is Vice-President of Musica International. Sharp appears regularly as guest conductor and clinician throughout the world, with recent performances in Austria, Thailand, Greece, Italy, Ireland, England, and China.
Tim is celebrating his eighth season as Artistic Director of the Tulsa Oratorio Chorus, Tulsa, OK, where critics characterize his performances as “impressively polished”, and having “stunning power” and “great passion and precision”. In a recent review of the Tulsa Oratorio Chorus’ performance of Mozart’s Requiem, arts critic James Watts stated, “The Tulsa Oratorio Chorus, prepared by its artistic director Tim Sharp, was in excellent form, summoning up rafter-shaking power…and showing great sensitivity ….” In the summer of 2016, Sharp conducted the Tulsa Oratorio Chorus as the Festival Choir for the 28th International Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria.
In 2011, Sharp served as Principal Guest Conductor at the International Festival of the Aegean in Syros, Greece, where TOC was the featured chorus in the production of Verdi’s La Traviata, and performed Rachmaninov’s All Night Vigil at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. He made his New York City Alice Tully Hall debut in 2014 conducting Handel’s Messiah. Tim returned to Carnegie Hall in May of 2015 for the seventh time conducting his own composition Come Away to the Skies: A High Lonesome Bluegrass Mass resulting it what one critic called a “dynamic, crowd-pleasing performance”, and characterized the composition as “…unfailingly true to itself, lacking in pretense, simple, direct, and heartfelt.” In 2016 Tim conducted the work at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN.
Before coming to ACDA, Sharp was Dean of Fine Arts at Rhodes College, Memphis, TN, where he conducted the Rhodes Singers and MasterSingers Chorale. In 2003, Sharp’s production of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi won an Ostrander Award, Memphis’ annual award for excellence in theater. Prior to his position in Memphis, he conducted the Belmont University Chorale and Oratorio Chorus, Nashville, TN, where he received choral credits on the Grammy Nominated and Dove Award winning recording, A Glen Campbell Christmas.
Dr. Sharp’s publications include Mentoring in the Ensemble Arts, Precision Conducting, Up Front! Becoming the Complete Choral Conductor, Achieving Choral Blend and Balance, Memphis Music Before the Blues, Nashville Music Before Country, Jubilate! Amen!, The German Songbook in the 19th Century, A Short History of the American Choral Directors Association, Collaborative Creativity, and a wide variety of published articles, essays, and CD liner notes for recordings by Helmuth Rilling, Iona Brown, Neville Marriner, and The King’s Singers. His most recent book publications include the historical-critical edition Johannes Herbst: Hymns to be Sung at the Pianoforte, published by Steglein, and Collaborating in the Ensemble Arts: Working and Playing Well With Others, published by GIA. In 2017, GIA released Tim’s third book in his ensemble series, Innovation in the Ensemble Arts: Sustaining Creativity.
Dr. Sharp’s choral compositions and arrangements exhibit his interest in conceptual programming as exemplified by the choral collection Salvation is Created, An Early American Service of Lessons and Carols, the young voices series including Christmas Messiah for Young Voices and Vivaldi’s Gloria for Young Voices, his own choral series through Gentry Publications, and his self-published bluegrass mass, co-created with Wes Ramsay, Come Away to the Skies: A High Lonesome Bluegrass Mass.
Tim received his education at Belmont University (BM); The School of Church Music, Louisville, KY (MCM; DMA); and studied further at the Aspen Music School, Aspen, CO; the NEH Medieval Studies program at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; throughout Belgium on a Rotary Scholarship; and at Cambridge University (UK), where he is a Clare Hall Life Fellow.