In June 1999, Jeffrey Brillhart was appointed the fourth Music Director of Singing City, having served as Associate Director in the 1998-99 season, when he worked closely with then Music Director Joseph Flummerfelt. As Music Director, Mr. Brillhart provides artistic leadership for a rich program of concerts, educational instruction in local schools, and outreach to diverse communities. He directs the choir and oversees all aspects of Singing City’s musical initiatives. Jeffrey sang with Singing City during founder Elaine Brown’s last year as director, and he shares Singing City’s commitment to performance, community, and education. He has an impressive background of study, positions and achievement, begun first at age 5 with piano lessons and at age 11 with his first position as a church organist.
Mr. Brillhart’s formal training was at Drake University, where he received his Bachelor of Church Music degree in 1977, and at the Eastman School of Music, where he received a Master of Performance and Literature degree in 1979. Prior to and during this time his organ study was with Frank B. Jordan, Carl Staplin, Arthur Poister and Russell Saunders. A pianist, harpsichordist, conductor and singer as well, he studied with Barbara Lister-Sink, Lenora McCroskey and Margaret Hauptmann. While at Eastman, Mr. Brillhart was active as a pianist in the studios of Jan DeGaetani, John Maloy, Thomas Paul and Peter Salaff.
A native Iowan, Jeffrey Brillhart serves as Director of Music and Fine Arts at the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church. Jeff directs the Senior Choir and Bryn Mawr Chamber Singers; oversees the Vespers Series and Second Sundays at Five; supervises all children and youth choirs; and coordinates the church’s arts outreach and visual arts ministries. He has taken his choirs on international tours to Northern Ireland, England, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Russia, Finland, Brazil and Cuba.
In 1993, he took a five-month study leave in Paris, France where he studied organ improvisation, the organ symphonies of Louis Vierne, and the music of Maurice Duruflé. His teachers included Olivier Latry, Philippe Lefebvre, Marie Madeleine Duruflé and Wolfgang Seifan. In 1994 he was first place prize winner in the American Guild of Organists National Competition in Organ Improvisation. Since that time, his recital tours have taken him throughout America, with engagements in San Diego, Seattle, Chicago, Pittsburgh, New York City, Iowa City, Des Moines, Worcester, and throughout the eastern seaboard.
Jeffrey Brillhart is active with the American Guild of Organists and the American Choral Directors Association. He may be heard as organist and pianist on several Direct-to-Digital recordings. He is also listed in the International Who’s Who of Musicians.
His recital tours have taken him throughout America, with engagements in San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Pittsburgh, New York City, Birmingham, Iowa City, Des Moines, Worcester, and throughout the eastern seaboard. He has presented masterclasses at Curtis Institute of Music, Eastman School of Music, Westminster Choir College, Drake University, University of Iowa, and Baylor University. Since January 2005, he has been a Visiting Lecturer in Improvisation at Yale.