Dr. Harry A. Mechell
Dr. Harry Mechell, the Director of Choral Activities at Winona State University, holds a Doctorate in Choral Conducting from the University of Illinois, where he studied with Harold A. Decker. His Masters and Bachelors Degrees were earned at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he studied with Robert Page. Mechell has also studied under other leading conductors and teachers, including Helmuth Rilling, Elaine Brown, Otto Werner Mueller and Paul Vermel.
His responsibilities at Winona State University, besides conducting the Concert Choir, Women's Chorus and the Madrigal Singers, include teaching voice, conducting and choral methods. From 1991-2000, he served as Chairman of the Music Department. Under his leadership, WSU's Renaissance Madrigal Banquets have become yearly events performed to capacity audiences and the annual "Messiah Sing-In" has become a major community event drawing crowds of over 1000.
Dr. Mechell has published several choral arrangements with Lawson-Gould Music Publishers. Much in demand as a clinician and adjudicator, he has served as guest conductor Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Arkansas and Pennsylvania. His choirs have toured Western Europe and have performed at MENC Conventions. During the summer of 2001, the WSU Concert Choir toured and concertized in Italy and Austria for two weeks, culminating in a performance of the Mozart Requiem in Innsbruck, Austria.
Dr. Mechell has been an advocate of twentieth century choral music throughout his career. Two seasons ago, he conducted the WSU Concert Choir in a mid-American premiere of the Norwegian composer Knut Nystedt's newest choral work, Magnificat for the New Millennium, with the composer in attendance Last season, the Winona Oratorio Chorus performed Arthur Honegger's King David and Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.
Dr. Mechell has devoted over thirty years to directing church choirs, specializing in the performance of sacred works with chorus and orchestra. He directs the Senior Choir at Central Lutheran Church in Winona. During his career, he has directed and conducted over thirty musicals at the high school, college, community theater and professional levels.
In addition, Dr. Mechell directs the Winona Oratorio Chorus, an auditioned community choir specializing in performing major choral-orchestral works. In recent years, the ensemble has performed major works by Handel, Bach, Vivaldi, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Gounod, Honegger, Rodrigo and Rutter.
Dr. Harry Mechell
The Choral Program at Winona State University consists of four ensembles:
All singers receive one undergraduate credit each semester and non-music majors may apply the credit to University Studies requirements. There are numerous scholarship opportunities available for singers.
The program also has an active ACDA (American Choral Directors' Association) Student Chapter - refer to their web site for further information.
For further information about the WSU Choral Program, please contact Dr. Harry Mechell.
Note: Winona Oratorio Chorus is a community organization. Students may participate for credit.
Dr. Harry A. Mechell