Dr. Jamie Spillane is Director of Choral Studies at the University of Connecticut where he oversees a choral program with eight choirs, directs the UConn Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, and teaches undergraduate through doctoral choral conducting and choral literature classes. Dr. Spillane’s research lies in the study of choral festival music and his articles have appeared in the ACDA Choral Journal. Recent acclaimed performances of UConn Choirs include conducting a collaboration of performances throughout New England with CONCORA of Craig Hella Johnson’s Considering Matthew Shepard and the world premier of Steven Sametz’s A Child’s Requiem, a work on the Sandy Hook tragedy.
A highly sought-after festival conductor, choral clinician, and adjudicator, Dr. Spillane has conducted All-State and honor choirs throughout the United States from Arizona to New Hampshire. He made his conducting debut at Carnegie Hall in 2016 and has returned multiple times. A recent year found him conducting the Connecticut All-State Mixed Chorus as well as the Indiana All-State Vocal Jazz Ensemble and in March 2024 he’ll return again to Carnegie Hall to direct the National Concerts Honor Chorus.
Prior to his collegiate career, Dr. Spillane taught public school music in Puerto Rico and Fairfield, Connecticut and for many years he was chair of the Ledyard High School Music Department in Ledyard, Connecticut. At Ledyard he directed a choral program that grew to include over four hundred singers performing in ten award-winning choirs that was twice selected as a Grammy Signature School as one of the top schools for music education in the United States. These choirs performed throughout America and Europe and at state and division conferences of ACDA and MENC/NAfME. Spillane previously taught at the University of Arizona, was the Director of Choral Activities at Iowa Wesleyan College where he was honored as the Chadwick Teacher of the Year, and Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, NY. At UConn, Dr. Spillane was awarded the School of Fine Arts New Scholar Award and UConn Choirs tour overseas every two years having been heard in Europe’s most beloved performing spaces from Ireland to Italy.
Dr. Spillane studied conducting under Dr. Bruce Chamberlain, Dr. Peter Bagley, Lawrence Doebler, Helmut Rilling, and Robert Page, and his students have gone on to teaching and leadership positions at schools and colleges through the nation. Former students sing with some of the most prestigious choral organizations including Cantus, Chanticleer, the U.S. Army Chorus, Voce, Concora, Elevation, and Highline Vocal Jazz.
Dr. Spillane holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Ithaca College, a Master of Music Education from the University of Connecticut, and a DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Arizona where he taught undergraduate conducting and directed the Symphonic Choir, the premier undergraduate choir. He has been very active in leadership roles of ACDA and MENC/NAfME, serving as the Collegiate R & S Chair and President of Connecticut Chapter of ACDA, as Vocal Jazz Chair and Conference Planning Committee for the ACDA Eastern Division, Conference Chair for the Iowa Choral Directors Association, Region Director and Student Advisory Board for CMEA, as well as on the NAfME – National Advisory Board for Choral Music Education and the Editorial Board for E.C. Schirmer Music. He was selected as CT-ACDA Choral Director of the Year in 2015.