Australian conductor Dr. Katherine Chan is known for her energy and enthusiasm on the podium. Chan is the Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music at Northeastern University. She directs the Northeastern University Choral Society Choir and Chamber Singers, and teaches courses in conducting, fundamental theory, and class piano. Actively involved and associated with many choral organizations, Chan also serves as the assistant conductor to The Summer Singers and is a clinician for civic and school ensembles. Prior to Northeastern University, Chan served as visiting Director of Choral Activities at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
A highly innovative and collaborative artist, Chan performed Fauré’s Requiem semi-staged in 2015, with singers from the Minnesota Chorale and librettist Michael Dennis Browne. Chan has assisted choral-symphony projects with the Minnesota Chorale. In the 2017-2018 season, she was invited to direct Minnesota Chorale’s holiday program: A Christmas Fantasia, and was a guest conductor at the MN Chorale's family concert: Global Harmony. 2019 engagements include guest conducting Xi'an Symphony Chorus in China and selected as one of the top 12 finalists in the World Choral Conducting Competition in Hong Kong.
Prior to relocating to the United States, Chan was extensively involved in Australia’s choral community, serving as National Council Member of the Australian National Choral Association (ANCA), and held numerous positions, including as the Musical Director of Choral Connection, Choir Director at St Andrew’s Uniting Church, and Rehearsal Assistant Conductor for the Brisbane Concert Choir.
Over the years, Chan has presented and performed at prestigious international festivals. In 2010, Katherine was a presenter at the Australia National Choral Association's Choralfest and in the same year, was awarded the Sydney Symposium Choral Foundation’s Fifth Choral Conducting Scholarship. In 2011, she was invited to participate in the conducting master class with Maestro Helmuth Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival. In 2012, Chan continued to be a conducting scholar under the tutelage of Maestro Rilling, conducting at the Taipei Bach Festival (J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion) and then at Hong Kong SingFest (Great Mass in C Minor by W.A. Mozart, Levin Edition). She was selected in 2015 to participate in the national conducting master class with John Nelson at the ACDA National Convention and National Conductors’ Symposium (2016) conducting master class with Jon Washburn and the Vancouver Chamber Choir. In 2017, Chan was a finalist at the ACDA National Graduate Conducting Competition.
Chan holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of Minnesota (UMN), under the mentorship of Kathy Saltzman Romey and Matthew Mehaffey. While at UMN, she directed Campus Singers Gold and Campus Singers Mosaic, and served as the Assistant Conductor to the University Singers and Chamber Singers, the Men’s Chorus and Women's Chorus, and was a teaching assistant for Undergraduate Conducting. She also helped lead the annual WomanVoice festival in Minneapolis, focusing on the power of collaboration between female choristers. Chan received a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington, Seattle studying with Dr. Geoffrey Boers, and Bachelor of Music Performance & Pedagogy in Classical Piano, from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University. While studying at the Queensland Conservatorium, Chan won numerous awards including the Brisbane Women’s Club and Yvonne Hayson Bursary, the Ruby C. Cooling Piano Bursary and MK Lassell Piano Scholarship.
Chan has studied and worked with prestigious conductors including Weston Noble, Jeffrey Kahane, Matthew Halls, Simon Carrington, Edith Copley, Emily Cox and Debra Shearer-Dirié.
In addition to conducting, Chan is actively performing as a soprano and pianist/accompanist. As a soprano, she toured Italy with the Brisbane Concert Choir, performing Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Vivaldi’s Gloria (soprano soloist). Chan has also been a core member of Fusion Vocal Ensemble and performed at the 10th World Choral Symposium in South Korea, 2014. As a pianist/accompanist, Chan has also been a collaborator for Queensland Opera and The Queensland Pops orchestra. Currently, Chan performs regularly with Marsh Chapel Choir, Boston