The Celebration Singers are pleased to welcome Brian Clissold as the Artistic and Adult Choir director as of our Fall 2014 season. Brian has an extensive background in conducting and singing. Having lead choirs and orchestras for two decades, his expertise is in conducting community and children’s choirs. Brian served the Music Center of South Central Michigan as conductor of both the Battle Creek Girls’ Chorus and Community Chorus. Clissold has also lead the Lebanon Regional Choir of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, the Vivace Youth Singers of Fort Wayne, the Fort Wayne Youth Symphony, and numerous church choirs. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Western Michigan University, and a Master’s Degree in Conducting from Butler University, Clissold has worked with noted conductors Craig Arnold, Henry Leck, and Eric Stark, as well as composers such as James Mulholland, Ola Gjeilo, and Sir David Willcocks.
Brian is currently a member of the Manhattan Chorale, a New York City based professional ensemble. Clissold has sung numerous roles in oratorios, masses, and operas. He has appeared frequently with the Battle Creek (MI) Symphony Orchestra and Butler University (IN) Symphony and served as a clinician and teacher for many years. Having been raised in a musical family, he shares his passion for music with his wife Abbi and their three children.
Sarah Michal, a resident of Plainsboro, NJ, is a resident graduate of Westminster choir College, where she obtained her Master's degree in Sacred Music with an emphasis in Choral Conducting. She is the Director of Music for the First United Methodist Church in Somerville, NJ.
According to Celebration Singers President Stephanie Silvestri, "Sarah is the right fit for the youth choirs because of her love of educating children. She believes in the music-making experience and truly paints a picture in song. Silvestri also noted that Sarah believes "being in a choir is like being in a family," and added "we are thrilled to have Sarah in the Celebration Singers' family."