Dr. Janet Galván: 2024 Helen Kemp Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Dr. Janet Galván, Professor Emerita, Ithaca College, was recognized by her New York colleagues for her contribution to choral music when she received the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) New York Outstanding Choral Director Award. Dr. Galván was also awarded the Ithaca College Faculty Excellence Award in 2018 and 2007, the Distinguished Alumni Award in Music Education and Choral Music from the University of North Carolina in 2016 and the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO) Honorary Life Membership in 2022. Dr. Galván was Artistic Director of the Ithaca Children’s Choir from 1985 to 2015.

Sought after as a guest conductor of choral and orchestral ensembles, Dr. Galván has conducted professional and university orchestras including Virtuosi Pragenses, the Madrid Chamber Orchestra, and the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra in choral/orchestral performances. She has conducted national, divisional, and state choruses throughout the United States for ACDA, the National Association for Music Educators, and the Organization of American Kodály Educators. She has worked with ensembles of all ages, from adult professional choirs to children’s choirs. She has conducted choruses and orchestras in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Washington’s Constitution Hall, Minneapolis’ Symphony Hall, Pittsburgh’s Heinz Hall, and Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center. She has conducted her own choral ensembles in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, and David Geffen Hall as well as in concert halls in Ireland, Italy, the Czech Republic, Austria, Canada, and Spain. Galván conducted the sixth national honor choir for ACDA and was the conductor for the North American Children’s Choir which performed annually in Carnegie Hall. She was also a guest conductor for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in 2002.  

Dr. Galván has been a guest conductor and clinician in in the United Kingdom, Ireland, throughout Europe, Canada and in Brazil as well as at national music conferences and the World Symposium on Choral Music.  She was on the faculty for the Carnegie Hall Choral Institute, the Transient Glory Symposium, the Oberlin Conducting Institute, and the Curso de Dirección de Coro in Madrid. 

Galván is recognized as one of the country’s leading conducting teachers, and her students won first place awards and were finalists in both the graduate and undergraduate divisions of the American Choral Directors biennial National Choral Conducting Competition. Many of her former students are now conducting university, professional, school, community, and instrumental ensembles and are leaders in the choral profession at all levels, local through international. 

Galván has been an artist in residence at many universities, leading masterclasses, working with the choral ensembles, and presenting sessions. She has also been an online visiting artist for many classes and rehearsals at multiple colleges, universities, secondary schools, and community choruses.  She was a featured presenter in the Choral Conductors Colloquium, University of Colorado, Boulder. Dr. Galván was a member of the Grammy Award-winning Robert Shaw Festival Singers (Telarc Recordings).

Galván has two choral music series and is the author of chapters in several books: Choral Reflections; Teaching Music through Performance in Choir, Volume 2; and The School Choral Program: Philosophy, Planning, Organizing and Teaching. She was the series advisor to Latin Accents, a series with Boosey & Hawkes. She was also a contributing author to The Choral Conductor’s Companion, Choral Cookbook; Standards, MENC Publication on Strategies for Implementing the National Standards; and The Choral Conductor’s Companion.  A chapter of Working With Young Singers, Vol. 1, is devoted to an interview with Galván. 

Dr. Galván has contributed articles to many professional publications. Mostly recently, she co-authored the feature article about Virtual Choirs with Matt Clauhs in the Choral Journal. Her article on the changing voice was published in the International Federation of Choral Music Journal in August of 2007 and was reprinted in La Circulare del Secretariat de Corals Infantils de Catalunga.

Active in ACDA since 1983, Galván has served the organization in many roles, including founder of the Ithaca College ACDA Chapter; honor choir chairperson for national, regional, and state honor choruses; R & S chair at the state and regional level; committee member for regional conferences, and state president of NYACDA. It was during her time as NYACDA president that the summer elementary honor chorus began with plans to expand to a middle school honor chorus.