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Choir Conductors

Gary Schwartzhoff

Gary R. Schwartzhoff, Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, conducts Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, The Singing Statesmen and teaches conducting and repertoire. Schwartzhoff received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Central College in Pella, Iowa and a Master of Music Degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa. A recipient of the Helen Kemper Doctoral Fellowship Award, he received a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Conducting at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, Missouri, where he studied conducting with Dr. Eph Ehly.

In 2014-2015, Schwartzhoff marks his forty-first year as a music educator. He has been active throughout his professional career in the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) where he served as President of the North Central Division from 1992-94. In 2010, the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association (WCDA) bestowed the Morris Hayes Award for lifetime achievement in the choral art to Schwartzhoff. In 2007, WCDA named Schwartzhoff the Outstanding Church Musician in the state of Wisconsin. Schwartzhoff has presented choirs on twenty-seven conventions before the state, divisional and national levels of ACDA and The National Association for Music Education (NAfME). In2009, Schwartzhoff was inducted into Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Eta Sigma in recognition of scholarship, service, and commitment to student success. In 2011, Schwartzhoff conducted the Minnesota Men's All-State Choir and Wisconsin Choral Directors Association Men's Honor Chorus. In 2009 and 2013, he conducted the President's Day Choral Festival at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. Schwartzhoff has a choral series in print with Colla Voce Music, Inc. in Indianapolis, Indiana. In February, 2015, Schwartzhoff will serve as guest artist at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Meyers.

In addition to conducting The Master Singers, Schwartzhoff serves as Director of Music at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Eau Claire, where he conducts the Chancel Choir. Gary is married to Nancy Schwartzhoff and they have two daughters, Jenifer Morgan (Jerry), and Rebecca Johnson (Andy), and grandchildren Brady, Alex, Anna, Emma and Clare.


Dr. Schwartzhoff:

Department of Music Web Site:


Alan Rieck

Dr. Alan J. Rieck, Assistant Professor of Music, joined the UW-Eau Claire faculty in the fall of 2001 where he conducts the Women’s Concert Chorale, Symphonic Choir, Women’s Chorus, and teaches courses in music education.  Prior to his current appointment, Dr. Rieck served as Assistant Director of Choral Studies and professor of music education at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona where he taught courses in conducting, current issues in music education, and music education teaching methods; and conducted the Men’s Chorale and Women’s Chorale.  While in Flagstaff he also served as assistant director of the Master Chorale of Flagstaff, was the founding director of the Children’s Chorale of Flagstaff, and during the 2000-2001 school year served as the NAU Director of Choral Studies.

Prior to moving to Arizona, Dr. Rieck taught and conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, conducted the top performing groups of the Madison Children’s Choir, and served as chorus master for the Madison Symphony Orchestra Chorus.  Dr. Rieck taught for six years in the public schools in West Allis, Wisconsin and is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association and Music Educators National Conference.  He holds a B.M. degree in Music Education, M.M. degree in Music Education, and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, all from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Contralto Elizabeth Pétillot enjoys an active and versatile career as an engaging performer in opera, oratorio, chamber music, and recital. Upcoming engagements include chamber music recitals in Southern France and Madrid, Spain, a masterclass and performance residency at Fredonia University in upstate NY, and a concert tour of the mid-west with the Grammy nominated chamber choir Conspirare directed by Craig Hella Johnson.

Dr. Pétillot is a champion of new music and has premiered many works including art song, chamber music and works for chamber choir by numerous composers. She is a founding member of the Chiaroscuro Trio, which has recently commissioned song cycles from composers Dr. Rob Deemer of Fredonia University, Dan Welcher of the University of TX at Austin, and Graham Reynolds – renowned composer of film music and founder of the Golden Arm Trio. Her trio will perform in various locations in 2011-2012 including Cincinnati, OH, El Paso, TX and Eau Claire, WI and will finish the season with the release of its first CD featuring traditional and premiere American repertoire.

Elizabeth is excited to have joined the voice faculty at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire where she teaches voice and intro to singing. Before moving to WI, Elizabeth taught voice, diction, music appreciation, and class piano at the University of TX at Austin, Rend Lake College, and John A. Logan College. Elizabeth speaks Italian and French fluently and has studied music at Indiana University Bloomington where she received her Bachelors degree in vocal performance, and at the University of Texas at Austin where she completed both her Master's degree and her DMA.

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.