BBC-Boston Christmas-Stephen Spinelli, conducting
Introducing Dr. Stephen Spinelli

Back Bay Chorale’s New Music Director


JUNE 14, 2024, BOSTON—Back Bay Chorale, one of Boston’s leading auditioned choruses, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Stephen Spinelli as their sixth Music Director, effective July 1, 2024.

Dr. Spinelli’s appoint is the result of an exhaustive national search that began in the fall of 2022. After narrowing the search to four finalists, each candidate conducted the Back Bay Chorale in their own curated concert cycle. The candidates spent nine weeks in rehearsals and meetings, concluding with a concert. The selection process also included Q&A meetings with Chorale members, surveys, and feedback from audience members.

“I am deeply honored to be named the next Music Director of the Back Bay Chorale. From the very first moments of rehearsal through the joy we shared in performance, it was clear to me that this is a thoughtful, talented, and generous organization. Larry Hill founded the Back Bay Chorale with a commitment to community, social justice, and the transformative power of music. I am excited to continue this legacy, striving for the highest levels of musical excellence while ensuring our performances serve as a beacon of community connection. Through creative programming and robust outreach initiatives, we will enrich the lives of our members and uphold the Chorale’s tradition of being a vital and leading participant in Boston's musical and cultural landscape.”

– Dr. Stephen Spinelli
   Back Bay Chorale Music Director

“While the artistic excellence of each of our finalists made this a hard decision, Steve has exactly what Back Bay Chorale is looking for to continue being a leading artistic voice in Boston," says Susanne Powers, Back Bay Chorale Executive Director. "His charisma and passion, coupled with his uncompromising standards, convinced us that the Back Bay Chorale is in the best of hands with him. I could not be more excited to have Steve as a partner in leading the Back Bay Chorale into this exciting new future.”

“We thank everyone who applied for this position. We are especially grateful to the other Music Director finalists, each of whom brought out the best in our Chorale and led spectacular performances this past season,” adds Craig Hughes, Back Bay Chorale’s board president. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am also most thankful for the efforts of Jim Farmer and his search committee, for their commitment and dedication to a thoughtful, comprehensive, and collaborative approach to selecting our next Music Director. I am excited to welcome Steve as the next musical leader in our long tradition of choral excellence.”

Dr. Spinelli is Assistant Professor of Choral Studies at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. He joined Boston Conservatory in 2022. Spinelli previously served as the assistant director of choral programs at Cornell University, and held visiting appointments at Thomas Jefferson University, Moravian College, Villanova University, and Syracuse University.
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What music critics are saying about Back Bay Chorale:

“...powerfully, courageously, accurately, and conveying deep engagements...”

Read Lee Eiseman's review of Back Bay Chorale's performance of Georg Friedrich Handel's Israel in Egypt in  Boston Classical Review:
Back Bay Chorale Strikes Fire with Exodus >

“...an enveloping warmth and splendor...earthshaking power...”

Read Aaron Keebaugh's review of Back Bay Chorale's performance ofJohannes Brahms's  Ein deutsches Requiem  in Boston Classical Review:
Back Bay Chorale closes season with a warm, consolatory Brahms Requiem >

What our Bridges ESOL Chorus participants say about their experience:

“you don’t have to fear making a mistake...”

Listen to WBZ NewsRadio 1030's report about our ESOL Chorus.
Boston Chorus Aims To Help Non-English Speakers Hone The Language >

Back Bay Chorale shares the power of voice, advancing the spirit of community.

Founded in 1973, the Back Bay Chorale is a 120-member auditioned chorus. For nearly 50 years, we have drawn talented singers from the greater Boston area to perform a repertoire that ranges from the Renaissance to the contemporary.
 

In addition to our annual concert series, the Chorale also shares music throughout the Boston community through our Bridges program. 
 

Musician, minister, and social activist Larry Hill founded the Back Bay Chorale  at Boston’s Church of the Covenant to create a musical ministry that would bring meaning to both singers and their audience.
 

In the years since Hill’s death in 1989, the Chorale has continued to grow in stature and is now regarded as one of Boston’s premier nonprofessional choruses.